Wisconsin National Guard postpones weekend training

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MADISON, Wis. (WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD NEWS RELEASE) -- As a result of the continued federal government shutdown, the Wisconsin National Guard has postponed all unit training activities scheduled for this weekend.

Soldiers and Airmen scheduled to report for training Oct. 4-6 should remain home and are advised to check with their commanders for guidance on how and when this month's training will be rescheduled.

"This is an unfortunate decision, and it certainly is not our preferred course of action, but it is the only option left to us," said Maj. Gen. Donald P. Dunbar, Wisconsin adjutant general. "The training that is conducted during National Guard drills is critical to maintaining our proficiency and readiness, but without authorized funding we cannot conduct training."

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen are typically paid with federal funds for training - a practice that began decades ago to ensure the National Guard received the same caliber of training as the active duty force. The lack of an approved funding measure from Congress prior to Oct. 1, the beginning of the new fiscal calendar, means there is no money at the moment to pay for training.

Dunbar emphasized that this weekend's training is merely postponed, not cancelled.

The Pay Our Military Act signed by President Barack Obama will ensure all active duty, Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and essential federal technicians will be paid in full and on time during the federal government shutdown. Approximately 1,000 Wisconsin National Guard federal technicians not exempted from emergency furloughs will not be paid retroactively for their furlough time unless legislation is enacted authorizing back pay.

In the event of a state emergency, the Wisconsin National Guard remains fully available to the governor for state active duty.

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