Shutdown guts base’s civilian workforce

By Emily Crowe

CMI staff writer

The federal government shutdown is taking its toll on Cannon Air Force Base and its civilian workforce.

While Cannon’s military personnel will see no lapse in work, just more than 250 of the base’s nearly 400 civilian workers were placed on emergency shutdown furlough Tuesday, according to 27th Special Operations Wing public affairs spokesman Capt. Derek White.

Employees will not receive pay during the furlough.

White also said 135 mission essential civilian workers will remain on the job during the shutdown.

According to guidance released by the base, furloughed employees were allowed to return to their offices Tuesday morning to place out-of-office phone and email messages, turn in government-owned communication devices and tie up other loose ends.

Thanks to a bill signed Monday night by President Obama, all active-duty and reserve military members, as well as any civilians and contractors working during the shutdown, will continue to be paid.

White said child development centers, youth center, dining facility, fitness center, golf course, bowling center, lodging, as well as Drop Zone and Landing Zone restaurants will remain open during the shutdown.

“The 27th SOW Medical Group will maintain normal business hours,” White said. “All Tricare health benefits remain in effect.”

Limited services will be available at the education center, civilian personnel office and Airmen & Family Readiness Center. Auto skills, outdoor recreation and the community center are facing a potential reduction in hours or closure, and the base library has also been closed until further notice.

It is yet to be determined whether the base Commissary and post office will remain open, according to White.

White recommends checking and the 27th SOW Facebook page for the latest information.

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