Due to the government shutdown, the Army is struggling to deal with thousands of civilian furloughs, reduced training and travel and scaled-back community outreach, service officials said.
Overall, 154,000 Department of the Army civilians have been furloughed, said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Jerome Pionk.
“This degrades the operations they were a part of. This has affected the Army across the board. We are looking at impacts upon every unit. Units are undergoing guidance with contingency planning to mitigate the effects as much as possible,” Pionk told Military.com
Meanwhile, the ongoing government shutdown may even stop the Army Black Knights football team from playing this Saturday’s scheduled game against Boston College, service officials said.
Plans for the game are currently under review in light of the shutdown, Army officials said. A source told ESPN that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will decide if the game is played after the service academies have shown they can cover expenses connected to the game without government funds.
Community relations activities have also been postponed until appropriations are available, Pionk added.
This means that Army band activities, fairs and other community-outreach related functions are now on hold.
Also, after being open to unload perishables for a day on Oct. 1, commissaries on installations across the country are now in the process of closing as well.
At the same time, the Army will continue to support activities with direct national security interests such as ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Korea and other parts of the world, Pionk added.
Officials with U.S. Central Command say about 190 civilians have been furloughed from their headquarters in Tampa, Fla.
Army acquisition will be impacted by the shutdown as well, particularly if it extends beyond merely a few days, service officials said.
“Contracts not already funded with FY13 (fiscal year) or other appropriations will not be funded until another CR (continuing resolution) or FY 14 budget is passed,” Pionk explained.
Although “excepted” activities related to safety and ongoing operations are protected from the shutdown, several military officials have told Military.com that an extended shutdown could wind up affecting a broader range of areas.
“We’re a little over 24 hours into this, if there were impacts we would not see them yet. There will be an impact eventually, but it is too early to predict exactly what that impact would be,” a military official familiar with current operations told Military.com.