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Indiana National Guard Faces Cuts If Budget Deal Fails

The Indiana National Guard may have to lay off or put some employees on furlough if national budget cuts take effect March 1.

National Guard Sandbags Southern Indiana Rivers

Photo: The National Guard (flickr)

Indiana National Guard Spc. Tracy Nims of Indianapolis, an infantryman in Company C, 1st Battalion, 151st Infantry Regiment headquartered in Indianapolis, hands out sandbags in Winslow, a small town on the Patoka River in southern Indiana, in response to rising river levels Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Indiana National Guard photo by Sgt. John Crosby

 Congress has a self-imposed March 1 deadline to avoid budget cuts and if Congress members do not make a deal soon, the Army and National Guard can expect budget cuts.

Public Affairs Officer Lieutenant Colonel Cathy Van Bree says 1,000 personnel within the Indiana National Guard’s fulltime workforce would go on furlough. That furlough would equate to one un-paid day or leave a week from mid April to mid-September and includes aircraft and ground maintainers.

Van Bree says it will not effect the National Guard’s ability to respond to emergencies. She says that Indiana will still have more than 12,000 response personnel.

“Our readiness and our effectiveness will be enough so that we can report, we can answer the call of duty when necessary,” Van Bree says.

181st Intelligence Wing Executive Staff Officer Major Frank Howard says a major budget cut could change the operations in Terre Haute.

“Potential cuts may include furloughs of our military technicians, which comprise around 50 percent of our full time force,” Howard says.

Howard says he would also expect a 20 percent deduction in state employees but ground and aviation maintenance departments, such as in Fort Wayne, would only be slightly affected.

Indiana’s National Guard is the sixth largest among 54 in the country.

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