188th Feels Effects of Furlough

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The 188th Fighter Wing in Fort Smith is preparing for a government shutdown.

The shutdown will delay pay and work for federal military employees, including about 200 people at the 188th.

Federal military technicians will be sent home without pay Tuesday, according to Major Heath Allen with the Fighter Wing. About 90 active guard reservists are covered under the bill signed by the President and will receive paychecks.

"What will happen if the government shuts down is the federal military technicians will be expected to show up to work on Tuesday and at that time they will be told exactly what’s going to happen from then on,” he said. “They will pass off their work to other full-time employees and they will go home and not be paid.”

However, if there was an emergency, such as a natural disaster, Allen says the workers would be put on state active duty status where they would be able to fulfill any duties needed.

The shutdown would also affect this weekend’s drill training for Arkansas National Guard members. Allen says the 188th will decide later this week if drill is cancelled if the government doesn’t reach an agreement.

Guardsmen won't get paid if they don't attend drill, but they will have the option to make up the training, according to Allen.

A local business said the possible shutdown will impact sales.

"We see a few of them religiously every week," said Nathan Smyth. "It's definitely going to take away a decent percentage of our routine sales."

Sixtieth anniversary celebration plans for the 188th Fighter Wing on Saturday (Oct. 5) in Fort Smith will still go on as planned.