Thursday, October 3, 2013

How the government shutdown affects the Oregon Military Department

The Oregon Military Department is comprised of approximately 9,000 Citizen-Soldiers, Airmen and civilians, of which nearly 2,000 are full-time employees.

Approximately 1,000 federally-funded employees, including 790 federal technicians and 220 federally-reimbursed state employees, are scheduled to be furloughed beginning Oct. 1 until funding is approved by Congress. Furloughed employees may be eligible for unemployment compensation.

Operations and activities which are essential to the security, safety and protection of human life and property are exempted from furlough, to include emergency management and national security missions. State Active Duty is still authorized in the event of a domestic emergency.

“Public safety and security, as well as the security of military installations are the Oregon National Guard’s priority and plans are in place to ensure these priorities are met,” said Capt. Stephen Bomar, director of public affairs, Oregon Military Department.

According to the Department of Defense, furlough decisions are dictated solely by the law and are in no way a reflection of the importance of the work of any employee or department within the agency. Supervisors will be the immediate source of information for their employees.

Drill-weekend training scheduled for the month of October for all part-time Soldiers and Airmen will be rescheduled for a later date. The chain of command will communicate with Soldiers and Airmen to adjust drill training dates as necessary.

Approximately 965 Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) military personnel will continue to serve in a normal duty status.

In addition, another 250 Army and Air Guard military federal technicians, and 100 federally-funded state employees have been requested as exempt from furlough for fire, security, and emergency management operations.

The Oregon National Guard will continue to support the governor and State of Oregon with the Civil Support Team (CST) and a 24/7 Joint Operations Center – the conduit to emergency management, and all armories will remain open.

The Oregon Air National Guard will continue to support the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) mission with the 142nd Fighter Wing and the 173rd Fighter Wing will continue to support the Air Force’s only F15 Fighter pilot training school.

The Military Funeral Honors program, Sexual Harassment/Assault programs, and Recruiting and Retention force will remain functional and the Oregon Military Department will continue the responsible close-out of 2013 fiscal responsibilities.

“Half of our full-time force is affected,” said Bomar. “The longer the shutdown, the more likely there will be serious long-term effects. However, we will do everything we can to assist employees who find themselves in serious financial trouble due to furlough.”

Information and resources for furloughed employees is available at the Oregon Military Department website:

Federal Tuition Assistance is temporarily suspended, however service members are scheduled to continue receiving GI Bill education benefits. Veterans Affairs medical facilities will also remain open. For more information visit the VA website at