WV Public Broadcasting Staff
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Tue October 1, 2013
National Guard hit hard by federal shutdown
Adjutant General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard said of the more than 2,300 full time guardsmen and women that would have gone back to work Tuesday, 1,150 of them were sent home because of the shutdown of the federal government.
Hoyer said jobs affected by the shutdown include everything from mechanics to pilots. He expressed frustrations over not being able to protect the pay of the men and women who he said are responsible for protecting the nation and state.
“Last night I saw all across the national news—and again this morning—that this House Resolution 3210 was going to ensure pay for military personnel,” said Hoyer.
“It’s called the ‘Pay Our Military Act.’ But, unfortunately, the way this is being interpreted right now within the Department of Defense and other agencies within the federal government, this really is the ‘Pay Part of Our Military Act.’”
Hoyer also noted there are 389 individuals that are federally-reimbursed employees for the Guard, including 30 military firefighters deployed at Yeager Airport. Currently, those employee salaries, which total $227,000 a week, are being “floated” by the state government.
Hoyer said the state may not be able to continue to cover those salaries if the federal shutdown continues too long. That would force Yeager Airport to employ county or city firefighter resources, according to airport officials.