• Gov’t shutdown forces furloughs at Scott air base

    by  • October 1, 2013 • News

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — The U.S. government’s first shutdown in 17 years is forcing unpaid furloughs of thousands of civilian military workers across Illinois.

    Dozens of state employees also are off the job, and campers at federally SCOTTmaintained sites across Illinois are being asked to take down their tents and head out. Visitors to Abraham Lincoln’s former home in Springfield are being turned away.

    The federal shutdown that began early Tuesday is blamed for furloughs of some 3,500 civilian employees at Scott Air Force Base east of St. Louis.

    They’ll stay that way until the end of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday.

    The remaining civilian employees on the 13,000-worker base are exempt.

    Air Force Col. Kyle Kremer is commander of the base’s primary air wing. He says some flight operations at Scott will be curtailed, including those transporting senior government and military leaders.

    But he says operations deemed essential such as training flights and flights of KC-135 air tankers won’t be affected.

    Some 2,500 civilian workers at the Chicago-area Great Lakes Naval Training Station also are off the job.

    The state also laid off 53 employees of its Department of Military Affairs and 20 to staffers of the Illinois Department of Employment Security.