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Times are Tough: Remember: 'Never leave an Airman Behind'

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno

Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- No one in the 45th Space Wing or throughout our Air Force wanted a lapse in appropriations to occur. Now that it's happened, there is no telling when Congress will pass the Continuing Resolution to fund annual appropriations. It is my fervent hope that by the time you read this article, all of this will be behind us.

However, as I write this, we are currently in a shutdown furlough. A shutdown furlough is necessary when an agency no longer has the funds to fully operate and must shut down those activities which are not excepted.

We are executing our plans for this contingency at the present time, as unpleasant and distasteful as it is.

We have a plan in place to keep launch operations moving and minimum base capabilities operating. Supervisors have briefed their personnel on the status of their position, whether it is "excepted" or "non-excepted." This is not a reflection of our personnel or their performance, but it is a determination by job description of the minimum essential jobs we need to keep mission critical operations flowing.

It is distressing for our civilian teammates to suffer furlough again, and this affects the entire team. The lack of a budget or continuing resolution will force another furlough, will create serious uncertainty, and will have severe and disruptive financial effects on an already stressed workforce of thousands of civilian Airmen.

For military members, you will report for duty as normal. We are counting on you to carry the load for your teammates, and I have full faith that you will be able to carry out our mission of launching our nation's vital assets.

I understand the uncertainty of this situation puts many of us in a difficult situation, and for our Civilian Airman, re-opens wounds still healing from the recent furloughs we went through this past summer.

Our highest civilian Air Force leader, Acting Secretary of the Air Force, The Honorable Eric Fanning, stated amidst this crisis:

"Every member of our team is important, regardless of their status under a furlough. We know this is extremely disruptive to the Air Force. We anticipate that this will be quickly resolved and pledge to do all we can to assist you and your families during this difficult time."

I am, as always, so very grateful for your service and your professionalism, and I'm humbled to be your commander.

It is now time, more than ever, for us to remember: "never leave an Airman behind."

Stay focused Sharks. And take care of each other.