A unspecified number of people were furloughed at Ft Rucker Tuesday with little idea when they will return to work. Like many federal civilian workers, their jobs have been furloughed due to the government shutdown.
Colonel Stuart McRae , the Garrison Commander at Fort Rucker, said that last time they were faced with a similar situation was nearly 20 years ago. It left federal workers with a job for about three weeks. He's hoping this time won't last as long. "We just ask for your patience and support as we navigate through this difficult situation. We will do everything we can to mitigate the effects on our soldiers, our families, our civilians and our contract employees." McRae would only describe the number of furloughed workers as "hundreds."
Soldiers will not be affected by the shutdown, nor will operations that deal with life, safety, and health. The U.S. Army Aviation Museum and a library are also expected to close. The biggest impact is at Fort Rucker’s commissary. It was open Tuesday to help clear out perishable items, but will be closed beginning Wednesday. McRae said other services will be interrupted and take a lot longer. “From getting ID cards to getting orders done,we’ve cut down to the bare bones in order to maintain the minimum requirements to support the mission.”
What could have taken two hours could now take twice as long. More importantly hundreds of people are dealing with a lot of uncertainty of when they'll return to work. “Every day that our employees are not working is a bad day for them," continued McRae.