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Senior leader letter to men and women of the Air Force

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/Jonathan Vargas-Vazquez)

(U.S. Air Force Graphic/Jonathan Vargas-Vazquez)

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- To the Men and Women of the United States Air Force:

We remain hopeful that a government shutdown will be averted. However, prudent management requires that the Department of Defense plans for an orderly shutdown should Congress be unable to pass a funding bill before our current funding expires on April 8. We fully understand that a shutdown is extremely disruptive to our mission, to you, and to your families. Therefore, the Air Force will continue to conduct activities in support of our National security-particularly, urgent operational requirements in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Japan, and other immediate military needs.

In a government shutdown, active duty military members will continue to report for duty, although they will experience disruptions in their pay. Civilians who are employed to accomplish functions that are considered necessary to national security, safety of human life, and protection of property will be "excepted" from furlough if their function cannot be accomplished by a military member. Those military members and "excepted" civilian employees will continue to report to work. Civilian employees who are employed for other, non-excepted functions will be furloughed until an appropriations bill or continuing resolution is enacted. Unique rules apply to the Guard and Reserve, and more information will follow from DoD.

An employee's designation as "non-excepted" says nothing about the quality of their work or the value of their service. These designations reflect a careful interpretation of the activities allowable under the law without an appropriations bill.

For more information, please see the official Air Force website ( and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website ( Additional information also will be provided to commanders and public affairs offices at all levels.

You are all valued members of our Air Force team. Thank you for your continued commitment and service to ensure our Nation's security in these uncertain and challenging times.

Michael B. Donley, Secretary of the Air Force

Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force

James A. Roy, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force