National Guard employees furloughed due to shutdown

Tenn. National Guard employees furloughed due to shutdown

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At the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base hanger, it's pretty much a ghost town as all the technicians were told to pack up their tools and leave. At the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base hanger, it's pretty much a ghost town as all the technicians were told to pack up their tools and leave.
Active duty members are still on the job, ready to serve, but without the technicians their equipment may not be. Active duty members are still on the job, ready to serve, but without the technicians their equipment may not be.
"It's had a tremendous effect on us, we've had 70 employees,  that were basically furloughed and sent home today," explained Chief Warrant Officer Four Bob Nicholson. "It's had a tremendous effect on us, we've had 70 employees, that were basically furloughed and sent home today," explained Chief Warrant Officer Four Bob Nicholson.

NASHVILLE (WATE) - More than 1,500 civilian Tennessee National Guard employees throughout the state are on unpaid furlough due to the government shutdown.

Active and reserve members are deemed essential are still working but nearly every military technician and contractor have been sent home.

At the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base hanger, it's pretty much a ghost town as all the technicians were told to pack up their tools and leave.

"It's had a tremendous effect on us, we've had 70 employees,  that were basically furloughed and sent home today," explained Chief Warrant Officer Four Bob Nicholson.  

Most of the squadron is gone, about 85 percent, but that number is higher when you factor in other soldiers that use the base. 

"It has a ripple effect because as we have soliders that come in on temporary orders for whatever trailing they may need, those soldiers can't come in because there's no full time support staff here to assist them in their training," he said.

That means pilots and crew members scheduled for required training will not be able to because there's no support staff.

Active duty members are still on the job, ready to serve, but without the technicians their equipment may not be.

"The longer the equipment sits the more things that need to be done, the more checks that need to be performed because there are daily, weekly, and monthly services that need to be performed. Those would all have to be check before we could launch and that could mean a delay in response time," explained CWO4 Nicholson.

"The maintain work on the aircraft have come to a halt as the technicians and mechanics have all been sent home. But the National Guard was prepared for the possible shutdown and did as many checks as they could before Tuesday's shutdown.

"The ones that could be done we didn't hold off, we went ahead and completed those but we're pretty much at a stopping point until we open back up," Nicholson explained.

Major General Max Haston, Tennessee's Adjutant General notified employees last week of the possible furloughs.

"There is no question that this will  cause serious hardships on our employees and degrade our ability to conduct operations, but even with the government shutdown, our remaining Soldiers and Airmen will strive to continue to meet the challenges and ensure the security of our state and nation. Our Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Tennessee State employees will continue to work and maintain essential operations of the Military Department," Haston said in a release.

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