Sequestration cuts will hit Groton sub base workers hard

Furlough notices will go out this week to civilian personnel at the Groton submarine base — the result of the so-called  sequestration.

The Department of Defense has to cut billions of dollars from its budget this fiscal year because of the across the board spending cuts triggered by sequestration. One way the Pentagon will achieve this is by furloughs of civilian workers — including about 750 at the Groton sub base. They’ll be asked to stay home from work one day a week for 11 weeks starting in July.

Bob Ross, the executive director Connecticut’s office of military affairs said the move will have a direct effect on the surrounding community:
“This base — its economic impact has been calculated to be as high as $4.5 billion a year. So when these employees take their paychecks home, they spend that money in the community. Now, when you have this big segment of our population in Southeastern Connecticut taking a 20 percent pay cut, you should expect that there’s going to be an impact on local businesses.”

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District,  represents the people on the base and its community. He says the unforeseen consequences of sequestration are needless.

“We can turn this off. The fact is I could get on a plane today and we could be able to avoid these furloughs — if Congress acts. And it’s unbelievably frustrating to me, because I do think we should have deficit reduction, but this is a mindless, indiscriminate fashion.”

Furloughs will also affect about 600 military technicians who work for the Connecticut National Guard.