WASHINGTON (NNS) -- The Chief of Naval Personnel joined personnel chiefs from the other services and Department of Defense civilian leadership March 13 in testifying before the House Armed Services Committee on the impacts of the current budget environment on military personnel and family related programs.
Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk discussed how the current budget environment is having significant impacts on Sailors and civilians, to include the potential furlough in April and evaluation the Navy's ability to sustain the tuition assistance program as it currently exists.
The situation has caused adjustments in deployment schedules, resulting in uncertainty and disruption in the lives of our Navy families.
"The furlough of the nearly 186,000 civilians and the attendant 20 percent pay reduction will significantly affect them and their families. The absence of this highly skilled workforce impacts our ability to sustain critical family support programs and operate our educational institutions and learning centers; the hiring freeze and release of over 650 temporary workers aggravates the situation," Van Buskirk said.
He joined the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Jessica Wright; Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson; Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Lt. Gen. Robert E. Milstead; Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower, Personnel and Services Lt. Gen. Darrell D. Jones; and Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel Lt. Gen. Howard B. Bromberg.
While much of the testimony to the key military committee focused on negative budget impacts, Van Buskirk did point out the Navy is committed to keeping its covenant with Sailors and their families.
"As we go forward, to the maximum extent possible, we will minimize impacts on family and Sailor readiness programs. We remain determined to avoid adverse impacts in programs that address sexual assault prevention, alcohol awareness and deglamorization, drug detection and abuse prevention, Navy Safe Harbor wounded warrior support, suicide prevention and resiliency, casualty assistance and funeral support; and child care," said Van Buskirk.