Civilian workers across military installations in the Pikes Peak region are feeling the effects of the federal government shutdown. At the Air Force Academy, more than 1,000 civilians are furloughed, while 450 employees are exempt and will continue to work.
In a press release, the Air Force Academy says the shutdown will be quite disruptive. Specific impacts include reduced courses and closure of the cadet library, canceled flying operations at the 306th Flying Training Group, and a closure of the cadet chapel. As of now, the Air Force –Navy football game scheduled for Saturday has also been canceled.
At other Air Force installations, Peterson and Schriever’s shared commissary will shutdown, Peterson’s military tuition assistance requests will not be processed, and its civilian pay services will be closed, among other changes.
At Schriever Air Force Base, of the 589 civilian employees, more than half are furloughed. Colonel William Liquori commands the 50th Space Wing, and says that all will be affected in some way or another.
We know people are concerned. Some are upset especially because they are facing the second furlough this year. It’s disruptive but we’re going to continue to perform our mission. I’ve been incredibly impressed by the professionalism of the personnel here at Schriever and what they bring to the table everyday and what they continue to display during this difficult time.
Schriever Air Force Base’s civilian pay office, personnel section, and man-power office are closed as a result of the shutdown, among other services.
More than 1,000 civilian employees of Fort Carson are also under furloughs.
Mountain Post leadership looked at life, health, and safety functions to determine which positions are deemed essential. Fort Carson Public Affairs Officer Dee McNutt says workers from almost every job specialty were sent home.
The command is very concerned about how this not only affects the civilians who are affected by it, each and every one of them, but what are those second and third order effects for our soldiers, what are the effects for the economy and the community here? We will sustain it as long as our government tells us that we need to, but it will be difficult.
McNutt says the furlough letters can only cover up to 30 days, and employees may be called in as needed. Clinics and emergency facilities will remain open, as well as non-appropriated recreation services, like gyms. The Commissary and Army Community Services Building are locked up.