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NH Guardsmen, shipyard affected by shutdown

New Hampshire Union Leader

January 22. 2018 11:18AM
Work on three submarines could be delayed by furloughs of civilian workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. (US NAVY FILE PHOTO)

Nearly 700 members of the New Hampshire National Guard scheduled to drill over the weekend stayed home because of the government shutdown and hundreds more are facing furloughs.

“Despite the lost personnel, we still have enough personnel on duty to respond to any critical needs the state might have,” Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn of the New Hampshire National Guard said Sunday.

Heilshorn said about 400 Guard employees were to report to work as scheduled this morning. He said a majority will be sent home within a few hours after being briefed on the situation.

“Essentially after that it’s standby for more information,” Heilshorn said. “As soon as we have more info, we’ll share that with everyone.”

Employees at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard also appeared to be on the verge of furloughs.

The shutdown would affect about half of the PSNY civilian workforce, causing work on three submarines to be delayed.

A bipartisan group of senators, including New Hampshire Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan, were meeting in closed-door sessions Sunday.

“There’s bipartisan consensus in the Senate that we need to work together to get the government up and running again,” Shaheen said in a news release Sunday afternoon. “These discussions are ongoing but continue to make progress, and I hope Republican leadership will allow an eventual agreement to move forward.”

Shaheen said she is concerned about the impact the shutdown would have on the shipyard and Pease Air National Guard Base, which she said have been hindered by short-term funding and budget cuts for far too long.

“I’m urging Republican leadership to allow legislation to move forward that will allow our men and women in uniform to be paid during the shutdown,” Shaheen said. “They need to be able to focus on their critical missions across the globe that are paramount to protecting this nation, without worrying about providing for themselves and their families.”


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