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Inland Empire News

Furloughed workers return to March Air Reserve Base

Monday, October 07, 2013

Hundreds of civilian defense employees at March Air Reserve Base are back at work. The secretary of defense ordered them to return despite the partial government shutdown.

For all the workers who were furloughed last week because of the government shutdown, getting back to anything routine is good, because life without a paycheck is tough.

"You really have to cut things out and do things that you're not used to to make sure that you can pay the bills," said Senior Master Sgt. Ralph Griffey.

Griffey is one of more than 600 civilian employees on base who have been ordered back to work by the secretary of defense.

"Knowing that you're coming back to work and getting back to the regular schedule makes you feel better," Griffey said.

Still, the base commander at March Air Reserve says it's hardly business as usual out here.

"Everything that they didn't do is still waiting for us when they get back," said Col. Samuel Mahaney, 452nd Air Mobility Wing commander.

So what wasn't getting done out here last week? Well for one thing, many of the maintenance crews were furloughed, so planes such as C-17's that needed to have work done just sat here.

"It's going to take us a month, two months, three months to climb out of this hole because of the work that wasn't done," said Mahaney.

And knowing that disagreement in Washington is what led to these furloughs in the first place, there's still a lot of frustration out here.

"Being a part of the military, it's hard to figure out that something like this can be such a mess. Where you would think that...you would go from point A to point B and everybody would just figure out a way to work it out, and then they can't. It's really, really frustrating," said Griffey.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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