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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Civilians employees back on job

  • Many civilian employees returned to work Monday at Fort Leavenworth even though the partial shutdown of the U.S. government continues, according to fort officials.
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  • Many civilian employees returned to work Monday at Fort Leavenworth even though the partial shutdown of the U.S. government continues, according to fort officials.
    More than 2,000 Department of Defense and Department of Army employees reportedly were placed on furlough Oct. 1 after members of Congress failed to reach a deal to keep the government funded as a new fiscal year started.
    Not all of the civilians employed at Fort Leavenworth returned Monday but most were back at work, according to Kimberly Lewis, media relations officer for Fort Leavenworth.
    Active duty personnel at the fort were not furloughed last week. And some civilian employees had remained on the job last week because they work in areas such as fire and force protection.
    Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday that most of the civilian employees who had been furloughed throughout the Department of Defense would be returning as a result of the federal Pay Our Military Act, which was passed and signed into law shortly before the shutdown began.
    Hagel said in a statement that attorneys for the government have determined the law allows "the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members."
    In a statement Monday, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., said "nearly 90 percent of the 350,000 previously furloughed employees are back at work and providing support to our military today."
    During a ceremony Monday, Lt. Gen. David G. Perkins, commanding general of the Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, welcomed back some of the civilian employees who had missed several days of work last week because of the furlough.
    "It's great to have you back here on the job," Perkins said.
    His remarks came during an assumption of responsibility ceremony for Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Hughes, who is the new deputy commanding general of CAC for leader development and education and deputy commandant of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
    Hughes said the college lost about 60 percent of its faculty when civilian employees were furloughed last week.
    The CGSC continued to have classes, with the some of the military instructors who remained on duty doubling up classes, according to Lt. Col. Thomas Powers, plans and operations officer for Leader Development and Education.
    He said the Army Management Staff College, which offers courses to civilian employees, is still impacted by the government shutdown because of restrictions on travel.
    It wasn't immediately clear Monday how many civilian employees who work at Fort Leavenworth remain on furlough.
    One area that continues to be impacted by the furlough is community relations, according to Lewis.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hagel said in his statement Saturday that Department of Defense officials "will continue to try to bring all civilian employees back to work as soon as possible."
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