Furloughed Camp Ripley employees back at work

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered almost 350,000 furloughed federal workers back on the job, after the U.S. Department of Defense and Justice offered their interpretation of the “Pay Our Military Act.”

Those workers include all but four of the 1,207 Minnesota National Guard technicians placed on furlough last week, about 350 at Camp Ripley.

In a statement, Hagel said, that while the Department of Justice did not view the law as a blanket recall of all civilians, it did allow the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members.

“The Minnesota National Guard is required by law to follow all Department of Defense furlough policies,” said Army Lt. Col. Jon J. Lovald, the Minnesota National Guard’s human resources director. “However, it is important that the people of Minnesota know that our citizen soldiers and airmen remain ready to respond to state or federal emergencies regardless of the government shutdown.”