Sequestration tables popular Hill Air Force Base restaurant

Jul 26 2013 - 6:41am

HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- The last of the government-mandated budget cuts began earlier this month with furlough days for all Department of Defense civilians, but the effect of sequestration continues to play out every day at Hill Air Force Base.

Hill officials have closed the doors of one popular restaurant on base -- Fast Eddie's expanded flight kitchen -- as a means of saving dollars under sequestration.

The restaurant is an arm of Hill's main dining facility and is located near the base flightline, where airmen perform maintenance work on F-16 fighter jets and other aircraft.

For many of the airmen working along the flightline, Fast Eddie's was the base restaurant of choice for a quick meal.

Young, single airmen living on base (ranking between airman basic and senior airman) are automatically enrolled in a meal plan.

The monthly meal allotment allows them to eat for free at dining facilities on base.

With the closure of Fast Eddie's, airmen now must eat at the Hill dining hall or other facilities located away from the flightline.

Base spokesman Rich Essary said if airmen miss meals because of time constraints, they are allowed to fill out a form for the missed meals and be reimbursed on their next paycheck for the money the meal would have cost.

As civilian employees on base head into their third week of unpaid furloughs, several other services on base have been cut back, and base hours of operation have been limited.

Hill's West and Southwest entry gates are closed every Friday throughout the furlough period, which is scheduled to end Sept. 30.

Mail delivery, the base Public Affairs Office and all base restaurants are shut down each Friday as well.

Hill's Warrior Fitness Center, the Hill Aerospace Museum, indoor and outdoor pools, and the base commissary will all have reduced hours until the furlough period ends.

For a detailed list of closures and reduced service hours, visit www.hill.af.mil.

Since January, in response to sequestration, Hill has implemented a civilian hiring freeze of all "nonmission-critical" positions, halted all nonmission-critical travel, limited supply purchases and postponed all nonemergency facility maintenance.

The base has also adjusted its air-conditioning set points from 72 to 76 degrees.

The air conditioning will also be turned off a couple of weeks earlier than normal.

According to the base website, each day the air conditioning is turned off saves more than $12,000.

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