Budget uncertainty was the main topic at AMCOM's town hall meeting March 6 in Bob Jones Auditorium.
Maj. Gen. Lynn Collyar, commander of the Aviation and Missile Command, conducted the third town hall of his tenure. He told the audience in the auditorium and command locations via video-teleconference that he is committed to providing the most up-to-date information about budgetary uncertainties, sequestration and the potential for furloughs.
"Last week, the deputy and I were on Capitol Hill and the delegations that we met with apologized for the position that they have put us in," he said. "They recognize that it's not our fault. It's also important to remember that sequestration is a 10-year event to cut costs -- cut spending."
The 2011 Budget Control Act calls for a $487 billion Department of Defense reduction during the next 10 years, with the Army portion being $170 billion.
The commander emphasized that a 2.5 percent across the board ends up to be a lot greater when specifics are accounted for.
"Those we visited on the Hill said that there is nothing that they could do to fix the problem," Collyar said. "They are having a hard time reaching agreements about where they need to go and how to get there. Their goal is challenging, but their goal is to continue to work. Most of them really do understand the significance and impact of the situation."
AMCOM and other Army and Department of Defense organizations received guidance earlier this year on the impacts of the potential sequestration, as well as uncertainty about the Continuing Resolution Authority. That guidance included a hiring freeze, the release of temporary employees, the release of term employees at the end of their current appointments, and the potential for a furlough of 22 non-continuous days, or 176 hours.
Collyar emphasized the following administrative furlough points:
• Coverage continues: Health Insurance, Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Flexible Spending Account, Dental/Vision Insurance.
• Thrift Savings Plan continues.
• No impact on "High 3" for retirement calculation.
• Furlough days are non-duty, non-pay.
• Employees may not substitute paid leave or other forms of time off for designated furlough days.
• Holidays are paid if the employee is in work status first workday prior or first workday after the holiday.
• Outside employment -- must adhere to federal ethics rules.
• Within grade increases may be impacted by non-pay time.
In terms of prudent planning, Collyar said that AMCOM command has released temporary employees without one year of service, implemented a hiring freeze, halted promotions, delayed monetary awards and is reducing or eliminating service contracts.
Soldiers are exempt from the furlough, he said, as are AMCOM civilians deployed in support of the war fighter and wounded warrior care.
"We will do everything possible to ensure the success of the command providing for the security of our Soldiers and the United States," Collyar said. "We are concerned about the direct impact of sequestration on the civilian employees of the AMCOM family. We are working diligently and exploring every possible avenue to limit the adverse effects on our employees."
Employees are encouraged to visit the Common Access Card site https://amcomsp.redstone.army.mil/default.aspx for frequently-asked questions, as well as documents and reference material from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army.
A town hall question-and-answer compilation link is planned for work force availability.
Additional information is available at the following:
• AMC AKO webpage, http://www.army.mil/info/organization/unitsandcommands/commandstructure/amc/
• HQDA webpage,
• OPM webpage,