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NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/armymedicine/">Army Medicine</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
NY Congressman Bill Owens at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Fort Drum's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex in May 2012. Photo: Army Medicine, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Owens: Sequester cuts could directly affect Drum soldiers

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Furloughs for civilian workers begin this week at Fort Drum, as part of the congressional budget cuts known as sequestration.

North Country congressman Bill Owens, who sits on the defense appropriations subcommittee, says the automatic budget reductions could directly affect men and women in uniform as well.

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Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

"That clearly is the real big unknown at this juncture and I think we need to take steps to get that under control, because I think that will have an affect.

Asked if the cuts will mostly be focused on civilian workers, Owens said he thinks uniformed personnel could be affected directly as well.

"No, I think it will be across the board. So I think we need to be very careful and we need to find a solution."

The automatic budget cuts are already forcing roughly 1800 civilian workers at the base to take one day off each week over the next eleven weeks.

So far, the Army hasn't said that sequester reductions will affect uniformed personnel — though other budget cuts have been announced that will reduce the number of soldiers stationed at Fort Drum by roughly 1400 men and women.

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