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Florida National Guard furlough emergency response statement

2:25 PM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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The Florida National Guard has released a statement about the furloughs and emergency responses, particularly when there is a threat of a disaster.

"In Florida, there are nearly 1,000 Soldiers and Airmen being furloughed, about half of our full-time force.

"The negative impact of furloughs extends well beyond our readiness to respond to disaster....and cuts deeply into the financial stability of Citizen Soldiers and Airmen and their families who will experience a 20% cut in pay beginning in July.

"We estimate more than 6,000 items of equipment will not be refurbished from federal deployment, and our equipment readiness rates will drop by over 10%.

"Deferment of maintenance not only impacts the readiness of our equipment for emergency response, but also reduces our ability to train our force for this response.

"The Florida National Guard will respond, as always, to the needs of our state for hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and numerous other disasters, but our reaction time to get the right people at the right place and time will be degraded. In any emergency, speed means life.

"Bottom line - when a disaster strikes and Governor Scott calls the National Guard - we will prioritize missions and respond quickly and effectively, bringing in other state's National Guard and Department of Defense resources for special capability as needed. While much adjustment and prioritization will be done behind the scenes, this should be seamless in the public's eye."

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