Government shutdown update: 188th's October 5-6 unit training assembly cancelled; unit's 60th anniversary moved to Nov. 2 Published Oct. 2, 2013 By Arkansas National Guard Public Affairs CAMP JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, Ark. -- The government shutdown triggered a lapse in funding forcing the Arkansas National Guard to delay monthly weekend duty training, known as drill, until further notice. The 188th Fighter Wing will not have drill as schedule Oct. 5-6 and the unit's 60th anniversary celebration has been postponed until Nov. 2 from noon-2 p.m. in the wing's main hangar. The training delay impacts nearly 10,000 Guardsmen across the state. The lapse in appropriation also required the Arkansas National Guard to furlough approximately 1,100 employees. The bulk of these employees are dual-status federal employees. A dual-status federal employee is required to be a member of the Arkansas Army or Air National Guard to hold a full-time federal position. Many dual-status federal employees are veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They are the only uniformed personnel facing furlough in the Department of Defense. "This is the second time this year dual-status federal employees have endured furlough," said Maj. Gen. William D. Wofford, The Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard. "Many are still recovering from the furlough earlier this year." Over 350 state employees of the Arkansas Military Department, whose positions are tied to federal funds, were also furloughed. The full impact of the government shutdown to the Arkansas National Guard is not yet known, and depends on the length of the shutdown. "Despite the significant challenges and negative impact on morale and readiness, we will continue to support key military operations and emergency responses; that's what we do," Wofford said. Monday the President signed into law H.R. 3210, "Pay Our Military Act", which protects military pay for those on active duty. It is not clear that the law applies to National Guard technicians or National Guard inactive duty training. "I hope Congress will consider adding the National Guard to this statute," Wofford said. "It shouldn't mean pay some of our military; it means pay all of them." Members of the Arkansas National Guard are encouraged to stay in contact with their units, monitor local media outlets and the Arkansas National Guard Facebook site at www.facebook.com/arkansasnationalguard, during the duration of the shutdown. For more information on the 188th's 60th anniversary celebration, contact Maj. Heath Allen at 479-573-5221.