Furloughed civilians return to work, base programs reopen

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All furloughed civilian employees at Altus Air Force Base have been called back into work after an announcement made by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Oct. 5.

Most DOD civilians placed on emergency furlough during the government shutdown would be asked to return to work, he said.

"Immediately after President [Barack] Obama signed the Pay Our Military Act into law, I directed DOD's acting general counsel to determine whether we could reduce the number of civilian personnel furloughed due to the shutdown," Hagel said.

The Defense Department, he said, consulted closely with the Department of Justice, which expressed its view that the law does not permit a blanket recall of all civilians.

"However, DOD and DOJ attorneys concluded that the law does allow the Department of Defense to eliminate furloughs for employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members," Hagel said.

Along with the return of civilian employees, most base programs that were temporarily closed or limited have also returned to their normal hours to include all force support squadron programs and facilities, and the commissary.