Government shutdown hits thousands in Savannah, Hinesville |


Government shutdown hits thousands in Savannah, Hinesville |

About 1,000 civilian employees were sent home from two Coastal Georgia Army posts Tuesday and operations at local National Guard posts were drastically reduced following the partial shutdown of the federal government.

Congress’ failure to reach an agreement on funding the government for the fiscal year that began Tuesday forced Defense Department civilians deemed “non-essential” to take indefinite furlough days. That includes nearly a third of the civilians at Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield, said Ron Elliot, the public affairs director for both posts.

Those forced not to work during the shutdown have already faced six mandatory furlough days in recent months thanks to the automatic federal budget cuts known as the sequestration.

Meanwhile, active duty military personnel stationed at the installations were not directly affected by the shutdown because of the Pay Our Military Act signed into law late Monday by President Obama just ahead of the midnight deadline.

That was not the case for many full-time Georgia Army and Air National Guardsmen, who were not shielded from furloughs by the law.

In the Savannah area, several hundred full-time National Guardsmen classified as dual status technicians — federal employees who work as uniformed service members but are paid, essentially, as civilians — and traditional Guardsmen working on temporary active duty assignments in the state were sent home Tuesday, said Army Lt. Col. Thomas Lesnieski, the spokesman for the Georgia Department of Defense.

via Government shutdown hits thousands in Savannah, Hinesville |

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