The Texas National Guard, formally referred to as the Texas Military Forces, says its strength will be 'degraded' by the ongoing government shutdown, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"Any time you send more than 50% of your fulltime force home there will be a negative impact on operations," Lt. Col. Joanne MacGregor, state public affairs officer, told 1200 WOAI news. "All of our aircraft and vehicle maintainers are uniformed military technicians, therefore every day the federal government maintains its shutdown is one day longer it take us to prepare our emergency equipment."
Lt. Col. MacGregor pointed out that the TMF are on standby in case of a hurricane, as we are in the peak season or Gulf hurricanes, or to respond to other emergencies.
"This shutdown is causing us to postpone unit training, force many key leaders to stay home on furlough, and take our service members out of vital skill qualification schools," she said.
The shutdown is beginning to affect the 22,000 'citizen soldiers' who are the backbone of the TMF. They train one weekend a month and two weeks a year, and all training is cancelled due to the government shutdown.
MacGregor points out that many TMF officials have already dealt with several days with no pay due to the federal government 'sequester,' which just ended last month.