No happy campers during government shutdown

Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 01:57 PM.

Stevin Westcott, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman, said the Croatan National Forest would remain closed through the government shutdown. He said some employees worked Tuesday simply to continue the process of shutting down operations.

Even if campers can’t use the national campgrounds, they’ll still be able to get a weather forecast. The 20 employees at the National Weather Service Office in Newport will be on duty, said Rich Bandy, meteorologist in charge at the office.

“We’re open,” he said. “Everyone here at the office is excepted, which means we’re working. We’re not going to do everything we would normally be doing, but we’ll be protecting life and property.”

Fleet Readiness Center East, which employs nearly 3,300 civilians in the repair and restoration of aircraft at Cherry Point, will also still be operating, according to officials.

“FRC East is operating as usual. There are no plans to furlough any employees,” said Dave Marriott, facility spokesman. “FRC East is a Working Capital Fund command. Our funding relies on revenue from our customers. Operations here will continue until all cash reserves are exhausted.”

Other functions at Cherry Point will be affected, according to Master Sgt. J.L. Wright, from the Joint Public Affairs Office at the base. He said only operations and activities essential to safety, protection of human life and protection of national security are authorized at the base.

That was evidenced by the flight of aircraft, including an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, in the skies over Havelock on Tuesday.

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