Tag Archives: budget

Local Reserve, Guard drills halted by shutdown; technicians furloughed

By SB Anderson
Air National Guard Chief visits the 113th Wing

Air National Guard in the District of Columbia. (Air Force photo).

While a last-minute bill kept active duty military members paid during the government shutdown, those not on active duty are in limbo.

“Pretty much everything has stopped,” Army Reserve spokesman Lt. Col. Matt Lawrence told Military.com in a story today.

National Guard and Reserve training exercises and professional development have been put on hold for now (although those who started training before the shutdown are expected to continue) and about 50,000  “dual-status technicians” who work full-time for the Guard and who also are part-time soldiers have been furloughed across the country.

Among those furloughed were technicians helping in the aftermath of massive flooding in Colorado. State officials have agreed to keep paying those technicians with state money and they will continue cleanup assistance.

“The longer this goes on, the more our readiness is put at risk,” John Goheen of the National Guard Association of the United States told Military.com.

Obviously, the Guard and Reserves are a quintessential local story. Here are a few links to what some local media outlets are reporting about the impact in their area.

Cost savings from military commissaries about to disappear for military families because of government shutdown

By SB Anderson

DCA logoWhile members of the military continue to get paid during the government shutdown and veteran’s benefits — for now — still are being distributed, one service that many military (and retired military) families rely on to make ends meet will halt after today: Hundreds of base commissaries around the country will shut down starting tomorrow. (They were open today so they could sell remaining perishable goods).

Those using the grocery stores pay only 5% more than cost, as well as no taxes, and save an estimated 30% vs. regular stores. The AP says 12 million people are eligible to use the stores. Those eligible include those on active duty, retirees, National Guard and Reserves and their family members.

Commissaries overseas will stay open, a release from the agency that runs the stores said.

You can find commissaries in your state, local or regional market by using the Defense Commissary Agency’s map search tool.

Find a commissary

Some resources for getting a grip on how the shutdown affects your beat

By SB Anderson

We’ve put together a few documents from key national security focused agencies with their plans for the government shutdown that began today (see bottom), and a few links to various sites with other information. The Washington Post is doing a particularly solid job in assessing and communicating the impact.

Below is an example of the agency information in the Posts’s handy “Impacts of a government shutdown” interactive list.

Washington Post Interactive Guide

Helpful links:

$61 million in duplicate technology programs unearthed at Defense and Homeland Security

By SB Anderson

The Department of Homeland Security and Department of Homeland Defense spent $61 million on six potentially  redundant information technology projects, a study by the General Accountability Office found.

GAO report on duplicative IT resources

Details directly from the report on what was found:

“Two potentially duplicative investments totaling about $30 million at DHS that are used to “book” and process apprehended illegal aliens who are suspected of committing criminal and administrative violations, commonly referred to as immigration enforcement booking management;

“Four such investments totaling about $31 million at DOD, which include two investments totaling $16 million that track health care status of warfighters and two investments totaling $15 million that manage dental care.”

The GAO said the Department of Defense cancelled one of the health care systems and will consolidate the dental systems “but had not developed a plan on how this was to be accomplished.”

Homeland Security cited “unique requirements” for the dual immigration booking systems, “but were unable to provide analysis showing why one system couldnot satisfy the unique requirements.”

Read the full GAO report (PDF)

Sequester impact, state-by-state

By SB Anderson

Below are links to PDF files for each state that were put together this week by the White House to outline potential local impact from the sequester. Summaries are included for various national security related expenditures, such as military, customs and border patrol, aviation and veteran’s services.

Alabama                               Alaska                           Arizona                      Arkansas
California                             Colorado                      Connecticut               Delaware
District of Columbia           Florida                           Georgia                      Hawaii
Idaho                                    Illinois                            Indiana                       Iowa
Kansas                                 Kentucky                      Louisiana                   Maine
Maryland                              Massachusetts           Michigan                     Minnesota
Mississippi                          Missouri                        Montana                     Nebraska
Nevada                                New Hampshire          New Jersey               New Mexico
New York                             North Carolina            North Dakota             Ohio
Oklahoma                            Oregon                         Pennsylvania            Rhode Island
South Carolina                   South Dakota              Tennessee                 Texas
Utah                                      Vermont                        Virginia                      Washington
West Virginia                      Wisconsin                     Wyoming                   Puerto Rico