Hundreds of Seabee civilian employees on furlough - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Hundreds of Seabee civilian employees on furlough

Posted: Updated:
Gulfport Seabee Base Commander Capt. Paul Odenthal told chamber members some 320 workers at the base would be furloughed Tuesday because of the government shutdown. Gulfport Seabee Base Commander Capt. Paul Odenthal told chamber members some 320 workers at the base would be furloughed Tuesday because of the government shutdown.
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

More than 300 civilian employees at the Gulfport Seabee base were among the thousands of government workers sent home Tuesday. They reported to work, but were given furlough slips because of the federal government shutdown.

"Gulfport is our home," Seabee Base Commander Capt. Paul Odenthal told a breakfast crowd on Tuesday morning.

The commander kept his speaking engagement at the Chamber of Commerce event, but he admitted his heart was back at the base, where 320 civilian workers were being told to go home. They were furloughed as part of the federal government shutdown.

"As far as the impact of that, in the short term we'll be able to maintain all our essential functions. And a few shutdowns here and there, but they'll be limited. All our employees are important, but we'll continue to operate the base and do what we need to do in the short term," said Capt. Odenthal.

The commander said even though he had no control over the decisions which triggered the furloughs, he can't help but feel for his workers who were told to go home.

"It's difficult to know those folks are going home without a guaranteed paycheck. So, our heart goes out to them that this won't go on too long and we'll be able to keep them financially stable as they go forward," he told the crowd.

Next year will bring changes at the Seabee base. NMCB 74 is scheduled to be decommissioned in September of 2014.  Beyond that, the commander told the crowd, things are less certain.

"The budget picture for '14, '15 and '16 is very uncertain. So, will there be more battalions asked to decommission? I don't know. We think we're at a low stage where we'll stay," said Capt. Odenthal.

As for how long these furloughs may last, he has no inside information.

"Your guess is as good as mine as to how long this will go on," he said.

There are 1200 civilian employees in all at the Seabee base. The 320 who were furloughed include administrative staff, instructors and members of the training and support team who help prepare Seabees for deployment.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dismembered human corpse identified, suspected killer in jail

    Dismembered human corpse identified, suspected killer in jail

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:10 AM EDT2014-09-16 10:10:09 GMT
    (WMC) - Investigators have identified the man whose head they found inside a black garbage bag after police believe he'd likely been dead for more than a week. Police say the victim has been identifiedMore >>
    Investigators have identified the man whose head they found inside a black garbage bag after police believe he'd likely been dead for more than a week.More >>
  • Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Ocean Springs mom warning parents about app

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:00 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:00:09 GMT
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate.More >>
    An Ocean Springs mom is sending a warning to South Mississippi parents. Katrina Johnson wants every parent to be aware of an app that she says is being used by many students to spread hate. Johnson discovered the posts last week, and she says what she read would make parents cringe.More >>
  • 'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    'Party mansion' owner convicted of tax and healthcare fraud

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-09-12 16:38:35 GMT
    File photoFile photo
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.More >>
    A former Raleigh resident, known for the wild parties held at his “party mansion” in North Raleigh, was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison for tax fraud, healthcare fraud and money laundering crimes, according to a United States Department of Justice release.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.