Fort Riley feeling effects of shutdown

Commissary closed, civilians furloughed

By Kristina Jackson

Although necessary health and safety services at Fort Riley will continue to operate during the government shutdown, residents and civilian employees will see a decline in other services until funding has been restored, officials said Wednesday.

Active-duty soldiers will continue in their normal duties, but many everyday services provided by civilian employees have been shut down along with many other government agencies. Civilian employees received furlough notices Tuesday morning and had to leave Fort Riley before the shutdown took effect at 11 a.m.

“First Infantry Division and Fort Riley leaders saw the potential for a shutdown and have spent a lot of time completing prudent planning efforts for the lapse in funding,” said Col. Andrew Cole, Fort Riley garrison commander. “There are a variety of different commands that comprise Team Riley, and we’ve worked together to form a comprehensive plan.”

Emergency and medical services on the base will not be affected by the shutdown, he said. Irwin Army Hospital and local clinics will operate unchanged to continue to care for patients.

Crisis and stress counseling services also will remain available to soldiers and residents of Fort Riley.

These services remain fully functional, but others will see reduction in staff until further notice. Corvias Military Living will remain open throughout the shutdown, but public works will provide water, gas and power through a reduced staff.

Some offices, including Education Services and Workforce Development, are closed until funding is restored. The Fort Riley Commissary maintained regular hours Tuesday to get rid of its stores of perishable foods but closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Until Congress can work out a deal to restore full funding for the closed services, remaining staff will work to provide necessary services.

“The main thing to remember is that the 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley remain committed to taking care of our soldiers, families, civilians and retirees throughout this time period,” Cole said.

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