Ft. Harrison still feeling shutdown pinch - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Ft. Harrison still feeling shutdown pinch

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On the 11th day of the shutdown the Montana National Guard is still feeling the pinch, and although many activities were canceled they are still trying to make sure they are providing the right training for their soldiers, Joe Moeller has more from the Capital.

As we have been following the effects of the government shutdown here in Montana, I was able to visit the Montana National Guard base here in Helena Fort Harrison where they explained to me that the base is still suffering.

"Really business is not as usual here." says Major Tim Crowe.

Since the Montana National Guard is not permitted to expend federal funds due to the shutdown it puts a halt on activities that would normally occur here at Ft. Harrison.

"October drills, most of the Montana National Guard drills scheduled to drill this weekend, those activities were made to be canceled."

The Montana National Guard is forced to make sure the federal shutdown won't hinder the training and ultimately the performance of their soldiers.

"There are school dates they may have had to go to that are not going on right now, making sure they are rescheduled for schools out in the future so that their readiness and their training is not deterred more than necessary."

Despite the shutdown the primary mission is to help those deployed and those returning from deployment, and although many activities are effected the National Guard wants to make sure these new soldiers scheduled to be sent over seas are prepared.

"The 143rd Military Police Company that is doing their training and preparations for their mobilization and deployment in January of this upcoming year, so we are able to support those solders, and continue to help them and train them."

Fort Harrison and the national guard were prepared for a shutdown, but until the federal government can get back to normal neither will the base.

Major Crowe went on to explain to me that they have several upcoming drill weekends on the calendar, but at this time they are still unsure if they will have the funds to operate on those weekends.

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