Budget cuts could affect Fleet Readiness Center

Published On: Feb 26 2013 06:16:30 PM EST
Updated On: Feb 26 2013 10:47:14 PM EST

U.S. Navy photo by Victor Pitts/Released

Machinist Ed Harper sets up a Reform High Speed Blade Tip Grinder to machine high-pressure compressor rotor blades from a TF34-GE-100 turbofan engine in the Crinkley Engine Facility at Fleet Readiness Center Southeast on July 27. The high-speed technology allows artisans to grind blade tips on the same axis of rotation that the rotors spin to simulate engine conditions. The engine division ground 995 compressor rotors in 2012.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

With the budget battle deadline three days away in Washington D.C., there's more information about what the Pentagon says will be the potential impact on Jacksonville's military community, a major employer of civilians.

They include 2,800 people who work in the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

The center does work on aircraft, engines and other aircraft components. In the past, it's been best known by the abbreviation NADEP.

"We provide the components that keep our Navy and Marine Corps flying and if there's an interruption in that flow of necessary parts to the fleet over an extended period of time, you'll see an impact to readiness and training," said Command Fleet Readiness Centers' Gary Younger.

The Navy says that if its funding is cut, the local Fleet Readiness Center will see 969 fewer planes, engines and components brought through the doors for maintenance. Most of the work involves engines or engine parts.

"We are preparing for any sort of budget scenarios so we can adjust the workload accordingly, to still meet mandates from navy headquarters," said Younger.

The Navy says the threatened loss of funding represents 309,000 work hours.

However, the Navy also says work will not stop on aircraft and engines already in the center, and the Navy says that will keep the workers there busy for some time.

The Pentagon has warned if the automatic budget cuts go through, roughly 800,000 civilians nationwide could face furloughs for 22 weeks of one day each week.

That would result in a 20 percent pay cut for those employees during those 22 weeks.

U.S. Representative, Ander Crenshaw told Channel 4 that he is deeply troubled by the high-stake cuts.

"We need to stop spending so much money but we need to do it in a reasonable way  and not with a meat ax approach that is going to hurt our military," said Crenshaw.

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