October 2, 2013 9:54:57 AM
Out of the 1,277 civilian employees at Columbus Air Force Base, approximately 230 will be furloughed and without a paycheck due to the recent government shutdown.
According to base officials, the impact of pay for Department of Defense civilian workers is a "complicated issue" that depends on Congress.
"Furloughed employees would receive back pay only if specifically appropriated by Congress," base officials said.
"If Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution or appropriation, all civilian personnel paid by appropriated funds will be furloughed, except for the minimum number necessary to accomplish excepted activities that are essential to national security and safety. Congressional actions will determine if retroactive pay will be provided for furloughed personnel -- there is no guarantee of back pay."
Without the 230 employees, base officials said it will put a strain on day to day operations.
"However, we will continue to conduct the 14th Flying Training Wing mission to Produce Pilots, Advance Airman and Feed the Fight. We will definitely feel the impact of a manning shortfall of our valued team members," base officials said.
In addition to the 230 workers being furloughed, the base commissary will be closed until further notice. The Base Exchange remains open.
Officials at Golden Triangle Regional Airport do not foresee the airport experiencing any problems because of the government shutdown.
Mike Hainsey, the airport's executive director, said he has talked with officials from both the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration about possible repercussions.
"We do not expect any delays or impacts caused by the government shutdown," he said.
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
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