RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) -- The federal government is shut down for the first time in nearly two decades. President Obama signed a bill that guarantees active duty military members keep getting paid, but how will this affect the Nevada National Guard?
"We are prepared, if the government does shut down, for a responsible shutdown of the Nevada National Guard, said spokesman Major Dennis Fournier.
Maj. Fournier said the Nevada National Guard will reduce operations statewide for flying and maintenance - similar to what they did during the summer sequestration furlough.
Active duty guardsmen won't be affected, but more than half of the guard's full-time workers are federal employees.
"Those same approximately 530 federal technicians will be put on immediate furlough for the duration of the government shutdown," Maj. Fournier said.
But this one is more serious for those technicians.
"Unlike the sequestration-induced furlough, where their paychecks and their work week were only curtailed eight hours, this furlough will be for a full 40 hours a week," Maj. Fournier said.
Major Fournier said some of their duties will be transferred to the active force, but it won't be an easy transition.
"Our technician force makes up over half of our total full-time force, so that's going to be very difficult to shift over half the work to under half the staff," he said.
Major Fournier said no matter what they'll fulfill their mission to aid in emergencies across the globe, the country and the state.
"What we take into consideration first and foremost is the welfare of our people," he said. "The mission will continue. The people are not our number one priority but our only priority."
While those federal technicians are out of work until the shutdown is over, guardsmen who are on active duty will keep their jobs and paychecks thanks to the new law, so will civilians and defense department contractors who are deemed "essential."