Army Numbers Paint Grim Picture For Sequester's Effect On Arsena - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Army Numbers Paint Grim Picture For Sequester's Effect On Arsenal

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After weeks of uncertainty, the Army reveals the impact the sequester would have on the Rock Island Arsenal.

Millions of dollars would be cut and jobs would be on the line.

From furloughs to layoffs.

The Rock Island Arsenal is the biggest employer in the Quad Cities.

With an estimated economic impact of one billion dollars.

The sequester would trim 197 million dollars from the arsenal's operations.

Civilian employees would be furloughed and the Army estimates one thousand jobs would be lost.

A former commander says this cut happens, the pain will be widespread.

"If you take a 20 percent cut in that people's salary, if there's the subsequent reduction in other budgets that are going to happen, then yes, it is going to hurt the Quad City economy," says former Arsenal commander Alan Kruse.

He, like others, works to keep it strong in the face of a winding down war, and a country trying to reign in spending. Trouble is, Kruse says the sequester is thoughtless.

"The concern is this cut is being made without studying anything, so if there is a reduction that's needed in the military, you need to study it and figure out what do we need in the defense of our nation."

The Army says its civilian workforce would need to take an unpaid day off every week for six months. A 20 percent pay cut.

"They've got mortgages to pay, they've got kids to feed, so they are concerned just like the rest of us."

20 percent smaller paychecks means less money flowing through Quad City grocery stores, gas stations, clothing shops. If one thousand jobs evaporate, Kruse fears the arsenal will weaken.

"Anytime you lose people and you lose these skilled workers it would make us more vulnerable for a future BRAC."

He remains hopeful Congress will act. The Army's numbers look bad in every state.

"Once the individual lawmakers see the impact on their state, there's going to be a number of voters in each of those states that are going to be contacting them saying you have to stop this."

Perhaps enough weight to block this meat cleaver of budget cuts.

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