H-VANDENBERG AFB

Oct 2, 2013 10:49 PM by Victoria Johnson, KSBY News

819 employees furloughed by Vandenberg Air Force Base

Federally funded employees are arguably the most impacted by the government shutdown. Here on the Central Coast, there are hundreds of them working at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The impact the shutdown can have on those federally funded employees is uncertain. Military personnel will continue with their daily activities. But federal workers across the country are off the job until a budget agreement is made. Highly trained military officers, government civilians, enlisted personnel, and contractors each play an important role at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Just last week alone, two missiles and a rocket were launched. That many launches haven't happened in one week in nearly a decade. So far, launch schedules have not been affected, along with many other base activities. "Some of our key functional areas, the Fire Department for instance, is largely government civilians. Those are accepted activities, specifically given authority to continue working as government civilians even among the shutdown. So we can protect that life, limb and property here on base," said Col. Keith Balts, Commander, 30th Space Wing and Range. Because of the shutdown, 816 of Vandenberg's 1,097 government civilians are furloughed. That's about 75% of the base's civilian staff. Some expertise has been lost in meetings now only attended by military personnel. It has also disrupted some operations. The commissary where people buy groceries is closed, there is no catholic mass and the educational center and library are also closed, among other non-essential operations. Until the shutdown is over, the number of people furloughed may increase or decrease depending on what is needed. The next Minuteman missile test launch is still scheduled for October 23rd.So far, that hasn't been affected.

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