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Iowa National Guard Orders Temporary Layoff, Cancels Drills
By Rod Boshart, Reporter
JOHNSON, Iowa Officials with the Iowa National Guard on Thursday announced the temporary layoff of 100 state employees and canceled more training due to the ongoing federal government shutdown.
Col. Greg Hapgood, the guard's director of public affairs, an additional 100 employees of the Iowa Department of Public Defense received notices Thursday afternoon that they would be temporarily laid off for up to 60 days beginning this Friday. The announcement resulted from negotiations between the Iowa Department of Administrative Services and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the action was prompted by the Sept. 30 expiration of a continuing resolution that funded federal programs, he said.
Thursday's immediate layoff was in lieu of the previously announced, 30-day temporary layoff originally scheduled to begin on Oct. 18.
Currently, five federal technicians remain furloughed until the shutdown ends or until notice of recall by the Department of Defense, Hapgood said. Also, 16 additional state employees continue a 20-day temporary layoff. About 2,100 full-time Iowa National Guard employees remain on duty, including Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) military personnel and federal technicians, he added.
In addition, Hapgood said drill has been canceled for all Iowa National Guard units and personnel scheduled for training from Oct. 11-20 due to unavailability of funding for personnel and purchases. Previously, drill was canceled for through Thursday. Assessment will be made in the near future regarding training scheduled for Oct. 12-31, he added.
Rescheduling of all canceled training assemblies will be announced at a later date after the shutdown has ended, according to Hapgood's statement.
The Iowa National Guard officials noted that they continue to expend funds only for "excepted" activities, like deployment or redeployment of soldiers and/or airmen, recruiting, safety, or protection of life or government property. All other activities are classified by the Department of Defense as "non-excepted" and will not be funded until the shutdown ends.
The Iowa National Guard will continue to provide periodic updates as this situation unfolds, with current information available at www.iowanationalguard.com