Work remains steady at FRC East despite furlough concerns

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 03:18 PM.

"The other thing that we’re working on is how do we keep the work moving if we’re only working four days a week," she said. "Basically we’re working two scenarios. How do we occupy people if the work’s not here and how do we produce the work if the people aren’t here? Either one of those or some combination could occur, so we’re developing lots of what ifs."

Fennell said the impact of a tightening budget has already been felt. FRC East had 180 contractors and now has only 35 who do direct labor for the depot. The workforce has been trimmed from 3,500 to 3,400, mainly through retirements.

She said total work hours at the facility are also being reduced through efficiency measures. Total man hours are down from 3.4 to 3.6 million in 2009 to an expected 3.2 million this year.

"Of course that could be further reduced if the sequester continues," she said.

Fennell said man hours are expected to continue to decline slightly through 2016 as work on older aircraft such as the H-46 and H1 helicopters decreases. She said work on new aircraft is not coming into the facility as quickly.

"That’s not a fact of workload going somewhere else," she said. "It’s actually just that the lifecycle of the weapon system that we support is impacting that workload range.

"We do expect, depending on budgets, that we will have some emergent work that will fill that gap and we expect our workload to be pretty steady over the next few years. There are a lot of uncertainties in that arena right now."

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