With automatic budget cuts looming Friday, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has asked all leaders on his base to prioritize their missions "to ensure effective operations, regardless of any future impacts of sequestration," according to a news release today.
"The air station takes sequestration very seriously and will continue to inform our civilian employees of everything we know, when we know it," Col. Brian Murtha said in the release. "We are all one team here at the air station -- Marines, sailors and civilians. I am committed to working through any future budgetary impacts as a team."
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Congress on Wednesday that if automatic government spending cuts kick in Friday, he might be forced to furlough the "vast majority" of the Defense Department's 800,000 civilian workers.
It's not yet clear the impact that might have at Beaufort County bases, however.
The Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort has 600 civilian employees, Executive Officer Lt. Col. Benjamin Clatterbuck told The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette earlier this week.
Earlier this month, members of an elite fighter jet squadron stationed at MCAS Beaufort are among military personnel aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman when that ship's mission to the Middle East was postponed amid federal budget uncertainty, according to media reports.