Government Shutdown Could Affect Offutt AFB

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Government Shutdown Could Affect Offutt AFB

By Josh Egbert. CREATED Sep 30, 2013

Omaha, NE- There is an atmosphere of anxiety, as civilian employees at Offutt Air Force Base wait on pins and needles.

8,800 people report to the base each day, but starting Tuesday, some of those employees will be forced to stay home.

"There's a big of uncertainty in in all." says Rob Hopkins.

It was business as usual Monday at Offutt Air Force, but the looming government shutdown was on a lot of people's mind.

"They're scaling back contracts and of course the budget crisis, no one really knows what's going to happen today or tonight." says Hopkins.

Rob Hopkins is a contractor on the base. He say's the looming shutdown is creating a tense work environment.

"All this uncertainty's created an atmosphere that's been difficult to work in and that's the long term effect is a lot of good people will leave." says Hopkins.

"There's going to be a lot of hardship and there's going to be delayed checks, there's going to be furloughs, going to be a lot of people out of work." says one retired military personnel.

Offutt says about 1,000 civilian personnel will be affected by a shutdown. They will be issued an emergency furlough and sent home.

"Short term won't be bad, maybe a week or two it'll be alright, but long term a lot of people get hurt with this."

Civilian police, fire, and emergency responders will continue to work, as will military personnel.

Late Monday afternoon, the Senate adopted bill to pay members of the military even if the government shuts down. The House already passed it. Now it heads to the President's desk.

But some worry the shutdown could have a greater affect than just staying at home.

"We see a lot of younger people that came in and were government employees or in the military and they see this and they're saying i'd rather have a job where I can count on my paycheck." says Hopkins.

If furloughs go through, fellow military personnel may be asked to perform tasks they would normally not handle.