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Sequester cuts mean furloughs for Tinker employees

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - All eyes are on Washington as the nation is just hours away from the March 1 sequestration cuts.

If Congress fails to agree on an alternative, the sequester will trigger unpaid furlough days for employees at Tinker Air Force Base.

Tinker's 14,000 civilians would be most affected by the cuts, which are expected to include furlough days for the 507th Air Refueling Wing, technicians with the 513th Air Control Group and other groups of Department of Defense civilians, starting in April.

If furloughs go into effect, the total potential loss in pay for Oklahoma Air Force civilians is $124.7 million, according to the Air Force Sustainment Center.

Reserve units at Tinker AFB have already tried to save money to lessen the impact of sequester measures, including hiring freezes and temporary training cuts.

The most likely furlough option is one day per week for the last 22 weeks of the fiscal year, for a total of 22 work days unpaid.

Right now there is no risk for Department of Defense civilians working in war zones.

There is also no impact expected for political appointees who are confirmed by the Senate.

Firefighters, police and command post personnel are expected to be unaffected.