OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Thousands of civilian employees at Tinker Air Force base were furloughed Tuesday and the national Storm Prediction Center is cutting down on its communication to the public as the federal government faces its first full day of a partial shutdown.
Officials at Tinker Air Force Base say about 2,900 of 14,000 civilian employees have been furloughed until federal funding is resumed. Nearly 700 federal technicians at the Oklahoma National Guard were also furloughed.
"Every member of the Tinker team is important to accomplishing our mission. This shutdown puts severe hardship on an already stressed workforce," Tinker Air Force Base officials said in a statement.
Col. Max Moss with the Oklahoma National Guard said 691 federal technicians many of whom are soldiers and airmen were furloughed Tuesday morning.
"Many of them have deployed overseas and fought for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan," Moss said. "The vast majority of them have deployed multiple times since 9/11 and now we're sending them home and basically, we don't know when we're be able to bring you back to work. That's a tremendous hardship on them personally professionally and on their families."
But Moss added that the full-time employees still working will continue as best they can to focus on supporting mobilized soldiers and those about to mobilize.
The shutdown also means that Oklahoma National Guard soldiers will not be performing weekend training or annual two-week training, meaning that even soldiers who aren't full-time employees will be affected by the shutdown. Moss estimates that as many as 10,000 soldiers and airmen in Oklahoma will feel an economic impact from the shutdown.