Hundreds furloughed at Westover Air Reserve Base - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Hundreds furloughed at Westover Air Reserve Base

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CHICOPEE, MA (WSHM) -

Morale was low at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee on Tuesday after hundreds received furlough letters in the morning following the government shutdown.

"I've seen frustration, disappointment, anger and these are folks who are dedicated and they are hardworking," said Lt. Col James Bishop. "The furlough letters we received said up to 30 days."

Bishop says every one of the 5,500 people working at the base are affected in some way.

"This affects every mission, the flying operations, the maintenance operations and the support operations," said Bishop.

Essential staff are still working and will remain doing so throughout the remainder of the shutdown. The staff that are working are not getting paid.

"The C-5 mission will still continue, we'll still do our military and our humanitarian operations, the training will be curtailed," said Bishop.

This is the second time in a matter of months that employees at the base have been hit by furloughs. Over the summer six furlough days were mandated as a result of sequester cuts.

"It's just an unknown and how do you pay your mortgage on that," said Bishop

But, despite all of the uncertainties, Bishop said the mission will continue.

Personnel at Barnes Air National Guard Base are also being greatly impacted by the shutdown.

According to our media partners Masslive and the Republican, 36 percent of the technicians working at the base are affected.

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