Editor's note: This is an update to the story first posted at 12:12 a.m. to include comments from Fleet Readiness Center Southwest's spokeman.
Most the civilian employees at Naval Base Coronado are not affected by the government shutdown Tuesday — at least not yet, said the president of a civilian Department of Defense employee.
The majority of workers at Naval Air Station North Island work for Fleet Readiness Center Southwest, which is currently fully funded, Irone Campbell, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 16 said.
“We’re hoping that [the shutdown] will take a week or two,” Campbell said. “Come the end of the month, you will have some very angry people.”
The FRCSW, which is responsible for repairs and maintenance of Naval aircraft, operates more like a government-run business, FRCSW spokesman Michael Furlano said. In essence, the military contracts FRCSW to service its aircraft.
With the government shutdown, the military does not have any funding to pay for more services, he said.
"We have an operating fund and that fund is estimated to last three to five weeks," Furlano said.
If the shutdown lasts longer than that, employees will be furloughed, he said.
The Defense Commissary, however, will be closed starting Wednesday.
In all, 81 people were furloughed Tuesday, Navy spokesman Lt. Michael L. Smith said. Furloughed employees were given four hours to change their voicemails and activate out-of-office message, he said.
Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka said Naval Base Coronado Commanding Officer Capt. Gary Mayes told him that furloughed employees will “certainly impact the departments and programs they serve.”
“For the time being, I think it is fair to say that we are still surveying what the impact will be to Coronado and her Navy neighbors,” Tanaka said.
The base will remain open during the shutdown and employees deemed essential to safety and national security are authorized to work.
The galleys, fitness centers, child care activities, deployed forces support staff, family readiness counseling and emergency support services are considered mission essential and will remain open, Smith said.
“Naval Base Coronado will continue to provide support and service to the fleet, fighter and family,” he said. “However, the government shutdown may result in some business elements within Morale, Welfare, and Recreation and Navy Gateway Inns & Suites being forced to reduce operations.”
For the furloughed workers, the uncertainty of when the shutdown will be over is having an effect on them.
“They’re just numb,” Campbell said. “They don’t know what to do.”
Furloughed workers are fearing for their livelihood and lifestyle, he said, but so far most union members have not contacted him regarding the furloughs.
“There has been no screaming, hollering or running to the bank,” he said. “Because of the shutdown, the stock exchange has been dropping and they’re more concerned about their retirement money.”