Virginia National Guard impacted by government shutdown

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by Mike Gooding, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 6:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 15 at 7:00 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The continuing federal government shutdown is having a big impact on the Virginia National Guard.

Nearly 200 civilian employees remain on furlough, most National Guard units are unable to drill on weekends, and many of those soldiers and airmen may not get paid for the month of October.

At Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach, it resembles a ghost town, with the post's parade grounds and athletic fields vacant, and the base barracks empty.

"It's definitely been slower since October, we've had almost no training," said Garrison Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Elena Scarbrough.

In fact, a field training exercise scheduled for this weekend by the 203rd Red Horse Squadron has had to be canceled for lack of funds.

"I think everybody's a little frustrated and ready to resume normal operations," said Rad Horse Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Stock Dinsmore. "It hasn't impacted our readiness so much that if needed to take on a tasking we could, but the large part is, we only have so many days in a year to train anyway, and the more we compress the schedule, the harder it is."

The State Guard's top officer is hoping for a quick resolution to the budget stalemate.

In a letter to the troops this week, Adjutant General, Major General Daniel E. Long, Jr. wrote, "We continue to engage with state and federal elected officials to encourage a rapid conclusion to the government shutdown."
 

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