More than 800 people in Montana will be affected by the furloughs issued by the Department of Defense which starts today. Maj. Cody Smith from the Montana Air National Guard is one of them.
"All technicians up here were issued notices for furlough. By our agency head which is adjutant general, Gen. Matt Quinn," says Maj. Smith.
More than 300 civilian employees at MANG will see pay cuts. The number is higher at Malmstrom Air Force Base at about 500. Army personnel in Montana will also see their paychecks dip. But despite being short employees on certain days, MANG officials have planned accordingly.
"If I'm off tomorrow, then we can have my back up or a deputy can be in tomorrow while I'm off. So at least we maintain coverage and we can maintain basic essential services. We have requirements that still need to be maintained. We have a mission to execute. Not everything we do is fly F-15s. We have a lot of other missions as well."
While MANG may not be hurting in coverage, the cuts still hurt some of the employees. Workers will have to take one furlough day a week. Averaging up to 88 hours of unpaid leave.
"This is painful for the individual for the individual technician. It is a cut in pay. It's a lifestyle adjustment for the next 11 plus weeks. Bills still have to be paid," says Maj. Smith.
Maj. Smith says employees have known about the cuts for months and some have financial plans lined up.
"Most of us out here have stepped up and identified financial plans. Obviously, we have a wealth of resources out at Malmstrom to go lean on should we need financial services," says Maj. Smith.
Maj. Smith will be taking his first round of furlough days on Tuesday, as for his plans," Unknown this time. Might be doing some housekeeping," laughs Maj. Smith.