Gov't shutdown could freeze jobs, paychecks on Fort Bragg

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Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg spokesman, explained the base's approach to handling a shutdown.

A government shutdown could have big implications for Fort Bragg and its civilian employees - including furloughs for some workers.

On Friday, the Department of Defense released a guidance memo to all military departments, spelling out what happens in case funds freeze.

According to the memo:

  • Troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria would continue to fight in their respective wars.

  • All active duty troops would continue to serve - without pay

  • Some civilian workers would be furloughed or placed on non-paid leave

"If Congress cannot come to an agreement by midnight tonight, we will begin implementing our plan to reduce non-mission critical services the morning of Monday, Jan. 22," said Tom McCollum, Fort Bragg spokesperson.

Overall, the memo stresses to military department secretaries the importance of using their best judgment when deciding which civilian jobs are mission essential.

"Regardless of a government shutdown or not, all Service members will continue to report for duty. The installation will remain operational. We will remain able to fulfill our mission of ensuring our Service members are mission ready and able to deploy upon order, and ensuring the life safety and health of all personnel assigned to Fort Bragg is maintained," McCollum said.

For now, missions are still being conducted, training still continues and troops will still get paid.

"Based on initial guidance from the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army, Col. Kyle Reed (the Garrison commander) and the garrison directors took great care in identifying mission essential activities that are allowed under federal rules to continue in the absence of appropriations," McCollum added. "These 'excepted activities' are those services required for national security -- including the safety of human life or the protection of property. They then identified the specific civilian employees who will be 'excepted' from furlough and those who will be furloughed."

Those who do not fill mission-critical positions will be informed of the layoffs on Monday morning.

We regret we are facing this situation," McCollum said. "We understand the frustration and stress it is placing on our workforce, everyone who is stationed here and on our local community. We are doing what we can to reduce the impact as much as possible."

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Potential shutdown's impact on Fort Bragg.

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