Local News
6:08 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Some National Guard Staff Would Be Furloughed Under Government Shutdown

Four-thousand of the nearly 50,000 federal workers in New Mexico are military personnel, including the Army and the Air National Guard. A government shutdown would lead to furloughs of some national guard workers.

Active duty national guard personnel would continue working if Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution.  National guardsmen who train one weekend per month and two weeks out of the year are considered full-time military and would not be affected.

Captain Brian Raphael of the New Mexico National Guard said about 500 national guard employees, known as a federal technicians, would be furloughed. “They cross all functions of readiness from pay to personnel services," Raphael explained, "legal, vehicle maintenance, electrical work, civil engineering, medical – they run all the functions within the New Mexico National Guard vocation spectrum that we have.”

As for active duty military, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement they would continue to serve in normal duty status throughout the world. But he said a large number of civilian employees and contractors would likely be temporarily furloughed.  The Albuquerque Journal reported that could mean 6,100 workers.

Veterans services will not be affected. A field guide issued by Veterans Affairs says all VA medical facilities and clinics will stay open, including vet centers, in-patient and out-patient care, and mental health services. Internments at national cemeteries will continue, although they might be on a reduced schedule.

VA call centers and hotlines, including job center, education center and consumer affairs hotlines would be suspended.