More than 300 furloughed at Camp Ripley due to government shutdown

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor

As a result of the federal government shutdown Tuesday, about 350 technicians at Camp Ripley were sent home on furlough. While they are technically civilians, they wear the uniform when they work; many are veterans, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the public affairs department at Camp Ripley.

Army Lt. Col. Jon J. Lovald, Minnesota National Guard director of human resources in an official statement, said according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, by law, the Department of Defense can only conduct activities designed to protect safety of life and property in the event of a lapse in appropriations.

The Minnesota National Guard began notifying military technicians Sept. 28 that there was a potential for furloughs beginning Oct. 1.

Approximately 2,100 full-time military personnel support the activities of the Minnesota National Guard; 1,118 are technicians who are subject to furloughs.

Lovald said during a government shutdown, “It is important that the people of Minnesota know that our citizen -soldiers and -airmen remain ready to respond to state or federal emergencies.”

Camp Ripley will continue to support key military operations.