Adjutant General: KY guard faces pay cuts, less readiness - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Adjutant General: KY guard faces pay cuts, less readiness

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Roughly 70 percent of Kentucky National Guard members face potential furlough, one day a week, and in essence, a 20 percent pay cut, officials say.

Just one example: If there's not a budget resolution in Washington very soon, guard members will make fewer Blackhawk chopper flights -- with tighter times at home and at work.

"The work that they're doing is also not being done, and their work is to prepare the equipment -- for the part-time people, the traditional airmen and soldiers to do their jobs. We (could) have (a) very, rapid breakdown in readiness, which is what we are all about," Ky. Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini said. 

An assistant secretary of the army who spoke at the Wendell Ford Training Center near Greenville, Ky., on February 22, agreed.

"We will not have as many training missions so our army will not be able to respond to issues faced," said assistant secretary Katherine Hammack.  "It is so difficult to plan for because the cuts are so deep they affect critical services."

The forced budget cuts could also mean Kentucky soldiers and airmen on active duty in places like Afghanistan might not come home as scheduled.

C-130 cargo aircraft personnel at the Air National Guard Wing in Louisville aren't immune to cuts, either.

"Not only is it our ability to generate the sorties, because of maintenance on the aircraft, it's also just the number of flying hours that we have. So we face the possibility of our people being non-current pretty rapidly," Tonini said.

WDRB News reported last week that the sequestration could keep current military aircraft from participating in the Thunder Over Louisville air show in April.

Kentucky Adjutant General, Major General Ed Tonini, spent last week telling members of Congress of the potential harm.

Now, he's receiving missives almost by the hour on how to cut -- and how to cope -- with what he calls unintended consequences.

"All of us in uniform pray that our elected officials somehow come up with the reasoning that's necessary to get this job done and get a budget, because that's what we all need."

First furloughs may not come until mid- to late April, because workers must be given 30 days notice, Tonini said.

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