520 civilian employees could be laid off

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – About 520 civilians who work at Minot Air Force Base would be affected if a furlough of civilian employees occurs, says a base spokeswoman.

The layoff would impact appropriated funds civilians. Non-appropriated funds civilian employees are not affected, said Kiley Swopes, chief of Media Operations with the Minot AFB Public Affairs Office.

She said appropriated funds are Congress-funded military and civilians. Non-appropriated funds civilian employees are business funds employees these employees are in the 5th Force Support Squadron only and work at the bowling center, JR Rockers sports cafe and lounge, Rough Riders Pizza and other businesses.

Non-appropriated funds employees are paid for by the funds those businesses generate and not Congress-appropriated, Swopes said.

Minot AFB has about 1,100 or more appropriated and non-appropriated funds civilian employees, according to the most recent economic impact report that was released earlier this year.

The measure is part of a Department of Defense effort to reduce spending at installations and agencies due to sequestration budget cuts.

“If the civilian furlough goes into effect, all services and facilities which employ civilian personnel will be affected to some degree, including reduced services,” Swopes said.

“Regardless, Minot AFB will continue to provide for our nation’s defense despite the reduced contributions of its civilian workforce,” she said.

The Defense Department recently announced reducing the projected furloughs from 22 days to 14 days.

According to American Forces Press Service, a news service of the Defense Department, earlier this week the news service reported Pentagon officials said they plan to keep employees informed of further changes. Officials also are reviewing analytics to assess the number of civilian employees they expect to have to furlough in the coming weeks.

Civilians serving in a war zone are among the categories that are exempt from the furlough, the press service said.