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Commissaries make plans to close Wednesdays

Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:36PM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2013 - 12:36PM  |  
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Commissary officials will close all stores on Wednesdays if sequestration takes effect, according to a memo to all commissary employees sent Feb. 21.

Defense Commissary Agency headquarters will also close on Wednesdays. The closures would begin in late April and continue through September.

"These actions, in effect, will furlough every DeCA employee one day a week for up to 22 days," DeCA Director Joseph Jeu wrote in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by Military Times.

The Wednesday closures of the stores would be in addition to any normal closure days. Jeu said there may be some exceptions at overseas locations with enough local national employees to keep the stores open. Local national employees are not subject to the Defense-Department-wide furlough.

If sequestration cuts take effect March 1, they will trigger a $46 billion reduction in overall defense spending over the last seven months of this fiscal year. Defense officials have directed that all DoD organizations develop a plan to furlough personnel for 22 days for the period beginning April 23 and ending Sept. 30.

Wednesdays are traditionally the slowest sales day of the week for commissaries.

"While certainly not a pleasant prospect for any of us, [the actions] are nonetheless unavoidable should sequestration occur," Jeu wrote.

Commissary operating schedules vary; many are open seven days, some are closed one day a week, others two days.

Jeu noted that DeCA already has canceled all May case lot sales. Officials previously told Military Times that overseas case lot sales have been canceled for May, but that case lot sales in the continental U.S. would continue. Clarification was not immediately available from commissary officials.

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