More than 6,500 Jobs in Jeopardy at Maxwell AFB and Gunter Annex

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By Heather VacLav

Washington's fiscal problems may cause operations to take a dive at Maxwell Air Force Base and the Gunter Annex. The so called "sequester" is not the only potential crisis.

By the end of March, an even bigger budget needs to be balanced to avoid a total government shut down, and put thousands of people out of jobs at Maxwell Air Force Base.

It's called the "Continuing Resolution Authority" or CRA, it's what funds the operation of the U.S. government and Congress has to pass a new budget before the current CRA ends March 27th.

"This is my livelihood, I'm on active duty and that is my only employment, so if that happens, I am essentially out of a job," said an active duty Air Reservist at Maxwell AFB who wishes to remain anonymous.

The air reservist is one out of nearly 6,500 workers at Maxwell and Gunter who found out Thursday, they may be WITHOUT a job March 28th.

"So basically I went into the most aggressive job search ever yesterday afternoon when I got home from work and that's all I can do," the reservist said.

Maxwell Spokesman Major John Redfield says CRA is "even bigger than sequestration." However, unlike the now defined sequestration, civilian workers says their jobs are uncertain with the CRA.

"Even if [Congress] passes a budget, that might not include keeping me on active duty, so there's no job security in this right now," the air reservist said.

In the mean time, Maxwell and Gunter are preparing for more "concrete cuts" through the so-called sequester, which includes furloughing more than 3,000 civilians.
    
"What we have to plan for is that they will be gone about one day a week starting at the end of April and lasting likely until September," Major Redfield said.

"I have a lot of friends who are either civilians or contractors, and definitely people like me that are reservists on active duty, and don't know whether they're going to have a job," the reservist said.

The sequester is also expected to cut class sizes at Air University, and delay $7.7 million dollars in projects between Maxwell and Gunter.

Earlier this week, the U.S. House passed the C-R-A, now the Senate must make a decision by March 27th to avoid a government shutdown. However, nearly all of the funding depends on the President's sequestration order.

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