Civilian employees, who were furloughed from Scott Air Force Base last week, are back at work. Scott spokeswoman Karen Petitt says the 35-hundred affected workers were notified Sunday that they should be back on the job today.
The decision came after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this weekend ordered 350,000 military personnel, furloughed by the federal government's shutdown, back on the job. Those workers at Scott represent about two-thirds of the installation's non-military staff of 13,000 employees. Scott Air Force Base is one of the region's largest employers.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government's shutdown is affecting thousands of civilian workers at southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base.
Some two-thirds of the civilian workforce at the installation east of St. Louis - or nearly 3,500 workers - came to work Tuesday before being promptly sent home on unpaid furlough.
They'll stay that way until the end of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday.
The remaining civilian employees on the 13,000-worker base are exempt.
Air Force Col. Kyle Kremer is commander of the base's primary air wing. He says some flight operations at Scott will be curtailed, including those transporting senior government and military leaders.
But he says operations deemed essential such as training flights and flights of KC-135 air tankers won't be affected.
Crews at Scott Air Force Base have a massive project ahead of them.
The workers are in charge of moving military equipment out of Afghanistan back to the US. Troops are withdrawing from the country at the end of next year.
In total, 750,000 pieces of equipment with a value of $36 billion will be brought back. About $7 billion worth of equipment will be left behind of destroyed.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Pilots at a southwestern Illinois Air Force base are decluttering cockpits, swapping pounds of paper maps and bulky flight manuals for iPads Minis.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the experiment involves C-21A planes at Scott Air Force Base.
Typically, each plane has about 50 pounds of paper on board, including maps, navigational charts and flight manuals. The printouts must be replaced every two months because they're continually updated.
That costs money: about $25,000 a year in printing costs alone, plus the additional fuel that's consumed because of the weight.
Maj. Jared Detloff is one of the pilots testing the 11 ounce tablet, which he velcros to a control yolk in the cockpit. He says there's been a learning curve to using the tablet, but so far it has been well-received.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - Air Force streamlining efforts mean nearly three dozen civilian jobs have been cut at Scott Air Force Base in St. Clair County.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the 33 jobs at Scott's Air Force Network Integration Center were eliminated when a contract with the workers' employer ended at the end of last month.
But Col. Brenda Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Air Force Space Command at Colorado's Peterson Air Force Base, says the lost Illinois jobs will translate to nine new in-house positions at Peterson.
Campbell says the Air Force will save money long-term through the consolidation.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government won't make a decision for years on whether to close Scott Air Force Base, but leaders in southwest Illinois fear growing budget pressures in Washington could affect the facility's future.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Illinois congressmen are working to keep the base open even though the next round of base closures won't take place until at least 2015.
Republican U.S. Rep. John Shimkus tells the newspaper that the base's fate is at risk if Congress doesn't reform entitlement programs. Defense Department officials have said that the facility has more infrastructure than needed.
Civilian workers at the base near Mascoutah are already scheduled to start taking 20 days of unpaid furloughs between May and September as a result of a series of automatic federal budget cuts.
A brief scare at Scott Air Force Base this morning.
After reports of a man walking around with a gun, one building was evacuated and MP's searched the area. The all clear was given about an hour after the first report and no one was injured.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for the Illinois National Guard and Air National Guard says more than 1,300 of its civilian employees will be taking unpaid furloughs as part of the automatic federal spending cuts that kicked in last month.
Capt. Dutch Grove tells the Belleville News-Democrat workers will be taking 14 days of furloughs through the end of this fiscal year. Those workers include 230 at Scott Air Force Base in southwestern Illinois.
He says those furloughs are set to start in mid-June, but that details on how that will play out remains unclear.
The Scott base employs almost 5,600 civilian workers. It is located near Mascoutah. Base officials say those exempted from the furloughs include firefighters and others who hold jobs are considered essential for base safety and security.
The furloughs mean affected employees will work only four days each week for 22 weeks, and they'll lose the pay for those 22 days off.
Only civilian employees in jobs essential for base safety and security, like firefighters, will be spared.
The paper reports that budget analyst estimate the furloughs will cost the region at least $28 million in reduced spending. About 5,600 civilians work at Scott Air Force Base.