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More furloughs, even layoffs, could hit MacDill Air Force Base in 2014

3:53 PM, Jul 22, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Cuts to MacDill Air Force Base that have already hit the Tampa Bay area could be back next year, and they could be worse.

That's the message Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered to a stunned crowd this weekend.

MacDill says it has an economic impact on the Bay area of $5 billion a year. Already, this year's furloughs may be taking as much as $15 million out of our area's economy.

The warning from Washington: don't expect next year to be any better.

The crowd in South Carolina gasped when Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the revelation: More furloughs, and even now layoffs, are likely in 2014 if Congress doesn't get together on a different military budget plan.

Those gasps were echoed here in Tampa Bay. Here, around 3,500 civilians working at MacDill Air Force Base in South Tampa are losing about $4,200 each this year.

That's from 11 forced, unpaid days off. Troops in uniform and retirees were protected from any cuts.

This year's furloughs were packed into just a few months. At least, any furloughs in 2014 may be more spread out across the entire fiscal year, starting in October.

But next year, it may be steeper than 11 unpaid days. This year, the military had to cut $37 billion from its budget. Next year, it's set to be $52 billion if nothing changes in Congress.

Grayson Kamm, 10 News

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