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Pa. says shutdown weakening National Guard - abc27 WHTM

Pa. says shutdown weakening National Guard

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FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. (WHTM) -

Fort Indiantown Gap is the second busiest heliport in the nation, but the federal government shutdown has grounded all aircraft flights and training.

Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, the adjutant general of Pennsylvania, said nearly 1,200 Pennsylvania National Guard members and federal civilian technicians were furloughed Tuesday because of the shutdown, including nearly 800 who work on the military base in Lebanon County.

Craig said the U.S. Department of Justice interpretation of military technicians places them in the same category as non-essential civilian personnel rather than members of the military.

Over time, he said the furloughs would affect the Pennsylvania National Guard's ability to defend the nation and respond to local emergencies.

"A lot of these technicians were furloughed under sequestration for several weeks only a couple months ago," Craig said. "Now they are not working at all, and that is a big financial hit for them."

Reserve training scheduled this weekend at Fort Indiantown Gap has been canceled. On average, the reservists will lose about $600 in drill pay.

 

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