Tuesday marked the beginning of a period of uncertainty for 800,000 federal workers. One of the facilities affected in Central New York is the Hancock Field Air National Guard Unit in DeWitt. YNN's Sarah Blazonis joined us from the newsroom and tells us what this will mean for those employees.
ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- They're the ones who maintain machinery and equipment for the 174th Attack Wing. But beginning Tuesday, 130 dual status technicians will be missing from operations at Hancock Field.
"Vehicles are not going to get worked on this week. Aircraft are not going to fly," said New York National Guard Colonel Richard Goldenberg.
National Guard officials say employees were also among those furloughed for one day a week during six weeks this summer as part of the Defense Budget Act. That gave them an idea of what this indefinite time off will mean.
Goldenberg said, "We said that losing a day each week was going to cause a deferred maintenance issue, and that, in fact, occurred. What we found is that, starting today, the more we defer further work on our vehicles and equipment, we will have to play catch up at some point."
This furlough is just the latest blow to morale for federal employees.
A public administration professor with Syracuse University's Maxwell School, David Van Slyke says sequestration was another hit that led to changes to the federal budget, including cuts to defense programs.
Van Slyke said, "It's not just demoralizing because of how much money is spent in meetings and how much money is actually spent shutting the government down, but because of how much money it will cost to actually restart the government, but how much money it will cost to actually restart the government."
At Hancock, fulltime active guard members will continue to report to work with pay. Officials say mission critical work will continue.
Goldenberg said, "At this point, we're just focusing on the day-to-day activities necessary to keep our force ready, keep ourselves responsive and available to the governor."
The largest portion of the 174th's members are the civilian men and women who serve one weekend a month and two weeks out of the year. fficials say changes they'll notice from this furlough are the disruption of training exercises.