Budget impacts N.D.

Federal budget cuts will be felt by North Dakota National Guard employees in Minot and other communities across the state if Congress hasn’t come to an agreement on the budget by Friday.

Capt. Dan Murphy, N.D. National Guard Public Affairs officer in Bismarck, said 607 federal technicians who are responsible for many jobs with the N.D. National Guard, could be furloughed.

The furloughs would begin April 25 and continue for 22 weeks, he said. Those employees would approximately have a 20 percent pay cut, or a one day a week cut for 22 weeks.

The federal technicians’ jobs range from equipment maintenance, public affairs to coordinating disaster assistance all jobs vital to the mission of the N.D. National Guard, he said.

“Everywhere there is North Dakota National Guard members serving will be affected,” Murphy said.

The cuts would impact Minot, Williston, Devils Lake and other communities communities that have a maintenance shop and an Armed Forces Reserve Center.

The Guard’s federal active-duty and reserve soldiers and airmen and state employees would not be impacted.

Murphy said other parts of the sequestration would impact contracts such as maintenance to getting repair parts for aircraft and other equipment.

About two weeks ago, Minot Air Force Base officials said Defense Department civilian workforce cuts have little impact at the base at this time. However, it was noted the Defense Department is considering a range of actions to prepare for possible sequestration with the intent to reduce spending.