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Old 10-01-2013, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Impact of a government shutdown

Military operations in Afghanistan, including the drawdown of U.S. troops and equipment, will continue, a senior defense official said last week. But death benefits for survivors of service members killed in the country will probably be delayed, the official said.

Some non-deployed military personnel will have to perform the work of furloughed civilians, most temporary duty travel will be canceled, and National Guard members and reservists will see inactive duty training curtailed, according to contingency plan guidance the Pentagon released last week.

Defense contractors will also be affected. The Pentagon won’t award new contracts or funding for partial awards or for cost-overruns, except in certain circumstances, according to the guidance.

“No funds will be available to pay such new contract or place additional increments of funding on contracts until Congress appropriates additional funds,” it states.

The Pentagon plans to continue funding a number of activities designed to protect life, property and national security, from war-related operations, to fire and emergency-response services, to inpatient care at military hospitals. Moves associated with recruitment and initial entry training will continue.

Schools run by the Department of Defense Educational Activity will also continue to operate as usual. Employees at the school and district levels will report to work, and students will continue to attend school. Student activities, including athletics, won’t be affected. However, employees at area offices and headquarters may be furloughed.

About 4 percent of the Veterans Affairs Department’s workforce – some 14,000 employees -- will be furloughed. More than half of those workers will come from the Veterans Benefits Administration, charged with clearing several hundred thousand backlogged claims.

"Veterans' call centers and regional offices would be closed immediately, effective immediately," White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday during a press conference before the shutdown. "So those services that help veterans understand their benefits … would be closed."

Veterans' business support centers also would cease operating immediately, he said, while vocational rehabilitation and education counseling would be limited. And should the shutdown extend into the later part of October, VA compensation, education and other benefits would ‘be cut off.'"

As a government shutdown appeared more and more likely throughout the day, officials on bases and posts across the Defense Department prepared for its fallout.

The Army’s Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., was still finalizing its plan Monday, but training will continue, Benning officials said. Benning is one of the Army’s Basic Combat Training centers and is also responsible for advanced individual training for infantry and armor jobs.

Fort Bragg, N.C., the home of the 82nd Airborne Division, plans to put about 38 percent of its civilian workforce on furlough if the shutdown goes forward, Bragg officials said Monday.

Fort Campbell, Ky., the post that houses the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), is taking a similar approach to support its soldiers.

“In matters of life, health and safety, as well as in maintaining our national security, we’re going to continue normal operations and mitigate negative impacts as best we can,” said Fort Campbell Garrison Commander Col. David “Buck” Dellinger, in a Sept. 30 press release.

“Essential services such as utilities, law enforcement and fire services, hospital emergency room services and soldier training and operations in direct support of national security and preparation for deployment will not be affected,” said Dellinger.

Army Air Force Exchange Service Manager Steve Martin said the post exchange and its operations should not be affected because the PX is largely funded through non-appropriated funds. However, he did note that “some transactions may be delayed, such as the purchase of firearms, which require background checks or other federal government actions.”

Troops' Pay Protected as Government Shuts Down |
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