A high-ranking Washington official visiting Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) this week said furloughs may be just the beginning of deep cuts in military spending over the next two years.
Sgt. Major Raymond Chanler, who reports to the chief of staff for the Army at the Pentagon, told an audience of soldiers and civilians at an Aug. 20 town hall that full sequestration may take effect in 2015, entailing a 50 percent cut in the defense budget, APG News reported.
The current sequestration budget is effective until October, and approximately 11,500 people at APG were furloughed as a result, according to a letter from Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) published in The Baltimore Sun.
APG employees were furloughed for 22 days, taking unpaid leave on Mondays or Fridays from April 22 to Sept. 21, according to the Federal Times. For those impacted, furloughs amounted to a 20 percent reduction in pay, APG News reported.
When the 2014 fiscal year begins Oct. 1, Deputy Secretary of the Defense Ashton Carter said the military may turn to reductions in force and involuntary separations if the sequester continues, Stars and Stripesreported.