The Iowa National Guard is getting a better picture of how it will be impacted by the federal across the board budget cuts known as sequester.
The biggest cut at local armories, including the one in Waterloo, will come through furloughs to federal technicians. 50 "fed techs" work in Waterloo, helping perform important equipment maintenance. With sequester cuts, they'll all be forced to take 22 days of unpaid leave. But the Iowa Guard says while the cuts will be tough, they won't impact public safety, should troops be needed for disaster response.
"We can really only do our job if we've got the equipment. So that can have an impact on it. At this point though, we're still working through what that's going to look like to make sure we can mitigate as much as possible, and that we have the equipment handy so we're able to do what we need to do when we're called upon to do it," said Major Jason Merchant, 1-133 Infantry Battalion Officer in Charge.
The Iowa National Guard is also being required to cut base operating expenses, things like power bills, by 30 percent by year end. Sequester also means no military construction or renovation money, and delaying non-essential maintenance and travel.
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