PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Acting director for the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, John Hedderich recently asked employees to develop individual plans and maintain standards for safety, security and the environment should the Army furlough civilian employees for 16 hours per two-week pay period.

The acting director spoke at a Town Hall meeting March 5.

Hedderich explained that Army organizations are required to plan for the 22-week furlough period. Similarly, employees should start planning their most effective work-week proposals under possible furloughs.

Hedderich asked, "How do you take those 16 lost hours and still take care of the family, take care of the mission and take care of the Warfighter?"

Employees and first-line supervisors know how best to meet customer needs, and thus decide which furlough days will suit their mission. For that reason, Hedderich favors "pushing down the decision" of selecting furlough days to the lowest levels.

For employees in integrated process teams, ARDEC is reviewing a proposal to join Picatinny organizations in targeting Mondays and Fridays as primary furlough days.

Teams at Picatinny frequently include personnel from many Picatinny organizations. Under the proposed plan, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays would be used to schedule meetings with the goal of achieving functional attendance.

Taking shortcuts on standard operating procedures for safety, security and the environment are off limits as an effort to maximize time and money.

"I'm not going to make up for reduced funding with more risk," said Hedderich.