CENTENNIAL, Colo. (10/2/13) - About 650 full-time Colorado National Guard military technicians have been furloughed without pay due to the government shut down. However, National Guard support to flood relief will continue as scheduled, with state money used to pay the Guard members.
The Colorado National Guard relies heavily on the technician workforce to maintain readiness standards for the entire force.
"The Colorado National Guard will continue to respond when called upon by the governor, while also being good stewards of resources and tax dollars," said Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards, the adjutant general of Colorado. "However, the reduction in full-time support could influence our response readiness. Even more important would be the impact on the National Guard families who have already sacrificed so much during previous furloughs. This shut down has the potential to be devastating to these families."
National Guard engineering assets from Colorado and several other states will continue to work in support of the Colorado Department of Transportation creating a temporary fix to roads in order to make them passable for recovery efforts.
Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the authorization of state funds to keep Colorado National Guard members working on flood recovery efforts.
The Denver Post reported that the daily cost, estimated at $40,000 to $80,000, will come from the state's emergency-relief fund until the government reopens.
The state plans to recover 75 percent of the National Guard expenses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The National Guard's mission or timeline for this project have not changed, the only change was to the funding stream allowing work to continue.
"We can't afford to lose one day in rebuilding areas destroyed or damaged by the floods," Hickenlooper said. "Our National Guard troops are an invaluable part of the team working on the recovery. We need them to stay on the job."
In addition to the engineering assets, the Colorado National Guard continues to provide approximately 50 personnel at traffic control points in Boulder County.