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Gov't shutdown forces furloughs at Scott air base

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 12:00 p.m. CST

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.

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