Government shutdown disrupts Dyess AFB operations

Shutdown: Dyess Changes

ABILENE, Texas - The government shutdown is taking its toll on Dyess AFB.

7th Bomb Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Glen VanHerck said this is challenging from a personal aspect and is impacting lives, not just paychecks.

Tuesday, the parking lot of the Dyess Air Force Base commissary was busy because tomorrow, it will be completely shut down.

It's not just the commissary feeling the blow.

"The B-1 training unit that trains all aircrew that go to all B-1 units, they've stopped flying, as well as the Weapon's School, so a significant impact there," VanHerck said.

"We've stopped all of our TDYs, our training, those are temporary duties off of Dyess and that will affect mission readiness somewhat," he added.

Here's what happened to 219 civilians Tuesday morning:

They came into work for four hours and received their furlough notices. These are emergency, no-notice, no-pay furloughs; they will get paid for those four hours today.

"Obviously, this is very disruptive to them," VanHerck added. "It's challenging from a personal aspect and that's what I want to make sure everybody understand is that this is impacting lives. People's lives."

Active duty members are now performing the duties of those furloughed civilians.

"We're prioritizing duties across the board...so as far as performing a lot of extra duties, I'd say there's no additional strain, just something maybe different than what they're [active duty members] are used to doing," VanHerck said.

VanHerck said Dyess is being impacted in other, broader ways, too.

Getting ID cards, orders, PCS moving paperwork and passports have all been affected.

VanHerck said there are procedures in place for those civilians who will experience financial hardship because of these furloughs; those employees know to contact their supervisor and the base is ready to handle those needs.

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