Bruce Smith / AP
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel talks with Air Force personnel at Joint Base Charleston near Charleston, S.C., on July 17.He also spoke to civilian employees on the base about furloughs.
The Pentagon said Tuesday that it is reducing the number of furlough days for Department of Defense civilians from 11 days to six.
More than 650,000 civilians have been furloughed one day per week since July 8, effectively cutting their pay by 20 percent during that time.
The furloughs were meant to help with part of the $37 billion in mandatory defense cuts that were required through the end of fiscal year 2013 as part of sequestration, the automatic budget cuts agreed to by Congress and the president.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a memorandum Tuesday that 11 days of furloughs would have saved $2 billion, but cuts were found elsewhere to enable reducing them to six days.
In addition to the civilian furloughs, each of the branches of the military has been cutting elsewhere. The Army curtailed training, the Navy has been standing down some air wings and the Air Force has reduced flying hours, among other cuts.
In March, Hagel said: “We’re adjusting to the realities.”