For the second straight week, the Wisconsin National Guard has postponed all unit training activities scheduled for this weekend due to the ongoing federal government shutdown. Soldiers and Airmen scheduled to report for training Oct. 11-13 should remain home and are advised to check with their commanders for guidance on how and when this weekend’s training will be rescheduled.

Funds for annual training days have been approved – with strict guidelines concerning what activities qualify as annual training – but traditional weekend training will remain postponed as long as the federal government shutdown continues. According to Maj. Gen. Donald P. Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general, postponing scheduled training raises serious concerns about troop readiness and certification.

“The National Guard only has so many training resources available for each training period,” Dunbar said. “To maximize those opportunities, we plan our training up to three years out. Some resources for required training, such as firing ranges or military lodging, are in high demand and may not be available when we reschedule training.”

While Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel authorized recalling most furloughed military technicians to work earlier this week, the continued absence of an approved federal funding measure means there are no funds to pay for National Guard training.

This weekend’s training is postponed, not cancelled. In the event of a state emergency, the Wisconsin National Guard remains fully available to the governor for state active duty.

Several financial institutions are offering low or zero percent interest rate loans to National Guard members impacted by the federal government shutdown. The Family Assistance Specialists (FACs) at 1-800-292-9464 Option 3, or the Wing Airman and Family Readiness Program Managers, can assist National Guard members with locating financial assistance resources. Military OneSource (800-342-9647) continues to be available to service members and their families during the shutdown.

 
 

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