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2013 in Review: Shutdown, sequestration shapes Schriever

Col. Bill Liquori, 50th Space Wing commander, addresses members of the 50th Space Wing regarding the government shutdown after a wing-wide reveille ceremony early Oct. 3 here. Wing leadership continues to use multiple methods to ensure members of Team Schriever have the most up-to-date information regarding the government shutdown. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke)

Col. Bill Liquori, 50th Space Wing commander, addresses members of the 50th Space Wing regarding the government shutdown after a wing-wide reveille ceremony early Oct. 3 here. Wing leadership continues to use multiple methods to ensure members of Team Schriever have the most up-to-date information regarding the government shutdown. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- To say the government shutdown and sequestration affected Team Schriever is putting it mildly. The two events shaped how Schriever conducted its business as well as showed how the base pulled together to ensure the mission continued.

Sequestration, signed into law as part of the 2011 Budget Control Act, is a package of mandated cuts to the federal budget, totaling some $1.2 trillion throughout 10 years of which some $85 billion took effect in fiscal 2013.

One of the most notable impacts was furloughing approximately 180,000 civilian employees. A furlough places an employee in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status because of lack of work, reduction or lack of funds, or other non-disciplinary reason. More than 600 Schriever appropriated-fund civilians endured up to 11 furlough days between July 8 and Sept. 30, 2013. Furloughs were estimated to save about $1.8 billion - a portion of the cuts required of the department in accordance with sequestration.

Following the furlough, the whole government was shut down at midnight of Sept. 30, 2013. Activities that were not expressly authorized by statute, necessary to discharge presidential powers, or considered necessary for the safety of human life and protection of property, including operations essential to our national security were discontinued. Unfortunately, the civilians, who had already faced furlough prior, were furloughed again until an appropriation bill was enacted.

This lack of appropriations brought many day-to-day operations to a halt. Temporary duty travel, for example, was limited to "mission-critical" only. Some agencies, such as the Civilian Personnel office and Airman and Family Readiness Center were closed. Community and public outreach was significantly impacted. Additionally, the installation's Combined Federal Campaign was postponed to a later date.

Throughout the ordeal, Team Schriever did its best to continue conducting its mission. Leadership reiterated that every member of Schriever and the 50th Space Wing team is important to accomplishing the mission and most civilians returned to work Oct. 7, 2013.

"Everyone [was] affected in one way or another," Col. Bill Liquori, 50th Space Wing commander, said during a reveille Oct. 3, 2013. "I am proud of the great group of professionals we have here and their exceptional performance to ensure we continue to command and control satellites to deliver decisive global effects."
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