Air Force Exempting Oklahoma Tornado Victims From Furloughs

Charlie Riedel/AP

The Air Force on Monday exempted some Oklahoma-based civilian employees affected by the recent tornadoes from planned Defense Department furloughs

Tinker Air Force Base civilians whose homes were “destroyed or declared inhabitable” are being exempted from the 11 days of furloughs planned for Defense employees starting July 8, according to an announcement from the office of Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. The Air Force was conducting the exemptions by invoking Alternate Safe Haven Authorities, the announcement said.

“This is the right thing to do. Despite some facing devastating personal circumstances, our Oklahoma-based civilian employees have shown their resilience time and time again,” Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said.

Inhofe said the affected civilians deserved “full support” from the government as the rebuilding process progresses.

"The Airmen and civilians at Tinker Air Force Base live in and comprise the communities surrounding the base and are among those who have lost homes and possessions as a result of the devastating storms that recently tore through Oklahoma,” Inhofe said. The decision to cancel furloughs for those "whose homes were lost or destroyed in the storms is another gesture of the benevolence and compassion our country continues to demonstrate to the people of Oklahoma.”

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