Furlough days start this week for most civilian Defense Department employees at Robins Air Force Base.
Workers will take one day off a week without pay for 11 straight weeks.
That amounts to a 20 percent pay cut from now to the end of the Government's fiscal year on September 30.
See the attached briefing paper given Robins employees and the letter from the Secretary of the Air Force announcing the furloughs.
Retired Gen. Robert McMahon, head of the 21st Century Partnership, estimates that the furloughs at Robins will take $50 million out of the Middle Georgia economy.
McMahon is the former head of the Air Logistics Center at Robins. The 21st Century Partnership promotes community support for Robins AFB.
Announcing the furloughs on May 14, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the decision was made only after exhausting all other options to save money in the face of the congressionally-mandated cuts, called sequestration.
"We did everything we could not to get to this," Hagel told civilian workers in a townhall-style meeting in Alexandria, Va. "But that's it. That's where we are."
Originally, 22 furlough days were planned to start in April. They were later cut to 14 days, and finally to 11 days.
According to the Defense Department, civilians will be exempt from furloughs only if they're needed to protect life or property.
Earlier coverage: Robins Defense Contractors Prepare for Impact of Sequestration (Feb. 20, 2013)
Earlier coverage: McMahon Warns of Sequestration Impact (Feb. 8, 2013)
Earlier coverage: Businesses Offer Help to Furloughed Robins Workers (June 15, 2013)
Earlier Coverage: Defense Dept. Workers Forced to Take Furloughs (May 14, 2013)