When the Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, announced March 2 the service’s intention to proceed with spending reductions to align with the Budget Control Act’s fiscal constraints, or sequestration, he outlined a variety of reductions in operations, training and maintenance.
Since then, leaders from Commander, Naval Installations Command have dug deep to see what prudent measures could be taken to save money.
The Navywide reductions Mabus outlined March 2 impact a variety of efforts, to include ship deployments and humanitarian aid. It also includes a gradual stand-down of flying time for at least three fleet air wings.
“These actions are being taken to preserve support for those forces stationed overseas and currently forward-deployed,” Mabus added. “Reductions in lower-priority forward operations and significant reductions in all other operations, training and maintenance are the results of this selection process.”
Reduced NAS services
Direct impacts to NAS Patuxent River that begin Monday include eliminating the base taxi service for Pax, NRC Solomons, Webster Outlying Field and the government leased off-base facilities, and reducing hours at some MWR facilities.
“Reduction decisions, though difficult, have been prudent, and in most cases reversible,” said Capt. Ted Mills, NAS Patuxent River commanding officer. “Our goal is to remain mission capable. There is not a uniform answer for all activities. Some effects will not be noticeable until later in the fiscal year. We will prioritize continued funding towards those activities that support life, safety and critical security, as well as those programs that support Wounded Warriors.”
The MWR schedules and service that change Monday are:
Drill Hall Hours:
Weekdays, 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Indoor Pool Hours:
Weekdays, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Liberty Center Hours:
Tuesdays, 3-10 p.m.
Wednesdays, 2-10 p.m.
Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sundays and Mondays, Closed
Additionally, the Secretary of the Navy’s message also noted that the Navy’s current civilian hiring freeze remains in effect, and plans to implement government civilian work furloughs continue to be made.
Blue Angels, Air Expo ’13
While the Blue Angels performances scheduled for April have been canceled, the decision to cancel later performances will be delayed until the latest possible moment, according to a Blue Angels Public Affairs statement released last week. Delaying the decision allows the Blue Angels to proceed with their performances in case funding is restored. With that said, NAS Patuxent River’s Air Expo ’13, which includes a Blue Angels demonstration, is still planned for Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
“Although sequestration has been triggered, we are still hopeful that Congress will pass a balanced deficit reduction plan that the president can sign, and sequestration is ultimately reversed,” Mills said.
Since March 6, legislation has been pending for a six-month spending measure that would keep the government operating past March 27. However, this legislation is still pending, and it is unknown how the bill might impact Navy cuts or reductions.
Additional sequestration information is available at the Navy Live site at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/03/02/department-of-the-navy-response-to-sequestration and at http://navylive.dodlive.mil/2013/03/01/five-things-you-need-to-know-about-march-1/.