The Navy says it will immediately start taking cost-saving measures, such as layoffs, furloughs and deferred maintenance and deployments, now that sequestration has come into effect.
In a March 2 directive, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the service will attempt to make cuts in a way that preserves “our ability to reverse or quickly restore negative effects if and when funding is restored.”
In the directive, Mabus said some training missions will be cancelled or delayed, many ships will either return to home ports early or have their deployment delayed, and humanitarian efforts in Central and South America will be deferred. The directive says some air wings will be restricted to activities that keep them at minimum safe flying levels.
“These actions are being taken to preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward-deployed. Reductions in lower-priority forward operations and significant reductions in all other operations, training and maintenance are the results of this selection process.”
Across the Defense Department, furloughs will reach full-time civilian employees with up to 22 unpaid days from late April through September.
It also says that the Navy may look at modifying contracts if funds are not available due to sequestration.
In a related release, the Navy says its civilian employees holding security clearances should notify supervisors or security officers in writing if they have financial difficulties related to sequestration furloughs in order to protect their cleared status.
Financial problems can cause clearance issues since indebtedness is used as a factor in determining trustworthiness and reliability, but the Navy says that sequestration is a circumstance beyond an employee’s control and its impact can be mitigated, in terms of security clearance, if employees behave responsibly and notify their supervisors.
The Navy suggests that employees speak with their creditors and keep written records of payments and any negotiations to lower payments or if they seek help with credit counseling services. These steps, says the release, are valuable because “if you consistently act in ways that reflect your good judgment your security clearance should not be at risk.”