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Coast Guard says furloughing civilians is not an option in Ohio or elsewhere
Sequestration options will depend on individual missions

Kevin Niedermier
In The Region:

With the federal sequestration looming, all branches of the military are bracing for budget cuts. In Ohio, the U.S. Coast Guard has stations along Lake Erie in Cleveland, Toledo, Ashtabula, Lorain, Fairport Harbor and Marblehead.  They employ nearly 550 military and civilian personnel.

If the cuts come, Lt. Paul Rhynard says all of the nation’s Coast Guard stations will adjust their budgets individually based on their missions.  At this point, the Coast Guard is not releasing contingency plans to the public.  But Rhynard says none of the Coast Guard’s 8,000 civilian employees will be furloughed, including the 135 in Ohio.

RHYNARD on Coast Guard preparation

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“Our focus is on maintaining certain critical missions, and within the Coast Guard, the civilian members are absolutely critical to supporting those missions. That sort of exemplifies that point, that the commandant does not plan to furlough civilian workers because that’s just how important they are to what we do.”

Civilians are employed in administrative, technical and maintenance positions.                                       

The operating budget for Ohio’s Coast Guard is more than $60 million. Nearly half of that is spent on contracts for fuel, maintenance, food and other supplies.

Rhynard says, despite possible cuts, the Coast Guard will preserve its core mission of water rescue, keeping shipping lanes open, and drug interdiction.

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