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The Issue:  National Guard military technicians will be furloughed due to sequestration

Immediate Action Required: Ask your senators and representative to exempt National Guard military technicians from furloughs

The Pentagon long ago exempted uniformed personnel from sequestration to limit the impact of ongoing budget debates on military readiness.

The Pentagon did not go far enough. It did not include the approximately 53,000 National Guard military technicians, who wear a military uniform, constitute more than half of the National Guard's full-time force and are vital to National Guard readiness.

On Friday, the Defense Department will likely begin the process to furlough more than 800,000 civilian employees. But that will include National Guard military technicians, who are unique to the federal workforce because they must be members of the National Guard to qualify for their jobs.

National Guard military technicians will be the only people wearing military uniforms who will be subject to furloughs.  

Time remains to prevent this harm to National Guard readiness. Contact your elected officials and ask them to exempt National Guard military technicians from furloughs due to sequestration.

Originally posted to aaraujo on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:38 AM PST.

Also republished by Military Community Members of Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why not go in the opposite direction? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    seems much fairer to me.

      •   The furloughs should be extended to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ALL of the uniformed members of the military (so that the impact on the civilians can be reduced accordingly - i.e., the "pain" should be shared equally).

        •  oh, i understand (0+ / 0-)

          but that would have an effect on national security readiness

          •  IMHO that's complete GOP framing, (1+ / 0-)
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            not reality.

            Just saying, a lot of (actually ALL of the other) countries manage to get by with considerably less "national security readiness" than we do.

            And in the odd case, not only "get by" but actually thrive.

        •  Do you have a clue what that would do to (3+ / 0-)
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          aaraujo, Orinoco, chimene

          military families?  TEs are already underpaid and get no overtime when they work longer than an 8 hour shift --my husband normally worked through lunch and never put in les than 10 hours at his job--plus extra time because they had to do mandatory PT and it was NEVER during work hours--you came in at 6 a.m. to swim and run.  You also work a lot of weekends--everyone is in a duty section and they have to come in on their assigned weekend. But if there's problems or it's wartime, you may find yourself working a lot more often.  There were tiems when my huband took his sleeping bag in and spent the night there to save hismelf the drive home.

          Most military families, especially junior NCOs, have no choice but to lvie liuve paycheck to paycheck because they can'r afford to save.  Trust me, I was a military wife, and outings to MickeyDs are consdieref a big treat. A pizza is a major night out.  

          Yes, active duty people get a housing allowance--but it only covers 85% of actual rent. They get nothing to cover utiltities, and in places like ME and FL, the electricity and heat can be higher than $300 a month.  With salaries low to start with (and no overtime like civilian workers get), that eats up a LOT of cash.  If you live on base, electricity and heat are usually free--or at least heat is.  While base housing for Es generally sucks--small, decrepit and in need of a lot of repairs and sometimes with asbestos or mold problems-- a lot of people choose to live in this deplorable housing because it is affordable.

          The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

          by irishwitch on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:36:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not arguing in favor of that (0+ / 0-)

            just trying to point out that many, many vulnerable people would be hurt by the sequester.

            Quite frankly, some or many of whom are in much more dire straits than that actually.

            I'm simply trying to wrap my head around the concept of why uniformed military (or anything military) should be given priority over everything else time after time after time . ..

            •  Were you ever a militart family member? (0+ / 0-)

              I suspect the answer is "No".  I understand also from previous comments that you'd like to see the active duty military shrivel to nothing.

              The problem is that WORK--like repairing planes which break down even when there's a sequester--has to be done. It can't be put off. And the people who do that very necessary work are already in pretty damned dire straits--Many are close to the poverty line--they bloody qualify for food stamps--and their housing often looks like welfare housing. Plus the deploy even during peacetime which means less money at home (they lose comrats which means less money for food--even though there's o less mouth to feed, it's needed).  

              Those National Guard guys are the ones who get called in to help with wildfires int he West and FL--and in hurricanes, leaving their families behind and sometimes in danger.  Civilians don't do that unless it's their job, in which case they're being paid to do that--they'll also be hit by the sequester.

              It's called "Essential Services" for a reason

              I'd like the cuts to hit bloated defense contractors who make a lot more money than the active duty folks who work one hell of a lot harder--and the cancellation of weapons systems which the military don't even want. Those guys usually make enough money to tide them over--and they'll be eligible for unemployment.

              The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

              by irishwitch on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:14:21 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  If an airplane isn't flying, why does it have (0+ / 0-)

                to be repaired/maintained?

                In any event, based on all that you say, I'm shocked that anybody stays in the military - what with our service people being the best and brightest and all that, other jobs should be easy to find.

                Maybe you should just up and quit and teach the country a well deserved lesson!

                •  You are being an ass on this. (0+ / 0-)

                  Some people are military because of patriotism,.

                  And once yoiu're in for 10 years--you lose everything if yu  leave before 20. NOT like civilians who can roll over their pensions.

                  I have a double master's which makes me a fairly bright, well-educated person--turned down Ivy League scholarships to grad school. A LOT of military people are damned smart--the jobs they do require it.  They also have to have nerves of steel--I doubt you'd be able to avoid peeing yourself on a flight deck with a jet moving around you (you know, those guys who duck down as a plane turns to ready for a CAT shot--that was my husband). It's scary--but the job needs to be done.

                  And the planes HAVE to fly. It's called maintaining readiness. Pilots need to keep their skills up, which means planes have to be ready to fly. Ditto ships. It's like cutting money for firemen who train. Skills atrophy unless you use them. Want a sniper who can shoot down the guy holding a family hostage? He has to train.  

                  Actually,, it would do people like you, who hate miltiary, good if during the next crisis the National Guard just sat on its hands--when a tornado strikes your town or a massive snowfall, or a hurricane or whatever disaster hits YOUR hometown--and see how fast you'll be begging for the Guard to put our your fire or clean up your blown down house.

                  The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                  by irishwitch on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:45:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Maybe, but still - other countries (0+ / 0-)

                    survive without all this shit.


                    Again - this hearkens back to my comment about "American Exceptionalism" - somehow we're the only/main one that can't.

                    And I'm not sure that that is a good thing.

                    •  Yes, our military is large. (0+ / 0-)

                      So is our country. You need a lot fewer people to defend France than the U.S> which takes up half a continent.  They also generally don't deal with hurricanes in Europe or tornadoes.

                      And those nations DO have planes that need to be kept flying and pilots to fly them. I'll talk to you when YOU need the antional Guard.

                      Got nothjing to do with AMerican Exceptionalism,.  I don't think we're better than anywhere else. I lived happily in Japan for 7 years on a base shared with the Japanese. I loved every minute I spent in that country. And considering how much I LOATHE the religious conservatism here int he South and which pervades America in general and some of the racism I see around me on a daily basis--I think we need to get a whole lot better in so many ways.

                      But you, as always didn't repsond to the simple facts that I pointed out.  Military people have to train on a regular basis to keep up their skills.  That means pilots MUST log a certain number of houes to keep their flight status, which means the planes have to be kept in condition to fly. Same thing with carriers and other ships.  They drill constantly on how to put out a fire, for isntance, as well having planes take off and land (because JIC you have't figured it out, landing a plane on a moving postage stamp isn't a skill you wake up with one morning).

                      And by the way, those other countries with much smaller militaries ALSO have to train and keep pilots up to snuff and planes and ships in readiness.  Remember the French--who bombed Libya form oen of THEIR carriers? Or the Brits who fought a war in the Falklands using (GASP) planes and ships?

                      There's plenty that can be cut--and we seriously need to change the way military contracts atre written. WHy shouldn't the companies COMPETE for weapons systems by offering a finished product to the military--with SMALL amounts to hep with the devt--instead of the govt. paying completely for the devt. and dealing with cost overruns every damned time? Why do we have to pay inflated amounts for parts?

                      Hell my husband figured out repairing a particular instrument which tended to degrade and corrode when exposed to salt water  cost three times as much to repair because you had to order every part separately with separate forms (man hours plus cost of parts) then when you got the parts in, you basically had to rebuild the entire instrument (MORE man hours)==than it did to buy a new instrument . That was how it was done. It took him a several weeks of arguing with higher ups to get permission to just order a new one becausye that was how it had always been done--because no one had done the math. I aslo had a friend in the AF who fixed cameras.  Theyfrequently needed replacement screws which could be bought for pennies at Home Depot. Instead, they had to req them, which meant time wsted filling out paperwork, and wait till the got them in--and the screws cost 10 tiems what they'd have cost at Home Depot. So withotu telling anyone,t hey all chipped in and bought a shitload of them---same screw, mind you. ANd didn[t tellt he LT. Cut that kind iof crap,.

                      Basicallym, you don't like the miltiary, dont udnerstand what it does and what is required to keep it going. Yous ee it as a waste ofmoney.

                      You don't know the sacrifices military famileis make and can't empathize withhtem--and don't want to.

                      So end of discussion. Arguin with soemoen who won't get it, because he doesn't want to--and who doesnt udnerstand the long hours military people work and doens't respect them abnyway--it's a waste of my time.

                      The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

                      by irishwitch on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:22:15 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

        •  How would you do that? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Uniformed service members are on call 24/7. Do you have them not show up for watches? Not schedule training on Wenesday? Turn them out of the barracks one day a week to wander around off base?

          In effect, a 'furlough' for a service member would be nothing more than a simple pay cut. We don't hire these people by the hour, we enlist them by four or six year terms.

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:09:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Because they aren't paid hourly. (0+ / 0-)

          Like the connection between progressives and veterans? Please vote for Purple Mountain Institute in the NN'13 Free Booth Contest.

          by angelajean on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:30:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I was an ANG technician (1+ / 0-)
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    I don't see why they should be exempted any more than an Air Traffic Controller or a meat inspector. All of them protect the public.

    Most of the ones I worked with were exceedingly right wing.

    They should call their GOP representatives, that they most likely voted for, and tell them to stop screwing around.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:33:16 PM PST

    •  Not only the ANG civilian techs (1+ / 0-)
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      There are also the Army Corps of Engineer personnel that operate the power plants on the Missouri and the navigation locks on the Ohio, and the Bureau of Reclamation folks that maintain flood control, power and irrigation facilities across the West, such as Hoover Dam and the other impoundments on the Colorado.  This is a totally FUBAR thing we have going on here.

      •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

        This is rather a blunt-object approach to budgeting.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:31:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  you are correct about them being RWers (0+ / 0-)

      Most ANG fullimers are hard rightwingers but not all.  It's because of the demographics - they tend to be middle-aged white men that have stuck around long enough in the traditional guard to be picked up fulltime.

      Buts slowly, there are more women and minorities ending up in those slots to start to slowly change the Archie Bunker mindset,

  •  For those that might not know about ANG mission (1+ / 0-)
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    The ANG, in some parts of the U.S., operate the only ready fighter aircraft.  The 142nd  fighter wing in Portland, Oregon is responsible for the area from the Canadian border to California, and they get scrambled a few times a year for what, so far, has turned out to be false alarms.  Techs keep them ready to roll and lack of techs will likely result in fewer ready aircraft.  Throughout the military, civilian techs maintain aircraft, either as government workers or as manufacturer's representatives.  As a rule, both tech types have specialized skills related to specific systems of the aircraft.

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