Jacksonville, FL - The furlough cut-back is shaping up to mean more than just a return to normal workdays at Naval Station Mayport.
With the 11 furlough days previously dedicated, the base was also forced to close the Commissary an additional day. Mayport Commanding Officer Captain Doug Cochrane says that hurt the business at the location, the Navy Exchange next door, and the gas station on base which depends on people traveling from around the area.
“It’s pretty amazing to see the second and third order events,” he says.
They also had to take a second look at storm preparedness. Cochrane says the biggest single impact of the furloughs on base was the ability to get ships safely out to sea in the event of severe weather like a Tropical Storm. This week is now seeing the last furlough day for this fiscal year, however, which Cochrane says means they are now in a more comfortable position.
“We’ll be right back up to speed with our normal contingency plans,” he says.
Cochrane tells me the people on base have been beyond patient when dealing with Department of Defense cuts, and while this year is ending well with the furlough scale-back, they will likely have to draw on that patience once again soon.
“There is a lot of uncertainty when you look down the next one or two fiscal years,” he says.
He tells me he doesn’t expect they will be getting any more funding, with even deeper cuts expected to come down the pipe in the next fiscal year. While it is too early to tell exactly what that will mean in terms of the base and personnel, he says for now, they’re focused on finishing this fiscal year strong.