LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas National Guard on Wednesday postponed weekend drills scheduled in October affecting nearly 10,000 Guard personnel because of the federal government shutdown.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas National Guard on Wednesday postponed weekend drills scheduled in October affecting nearly 10,000 Guard personnel because of the federal government shutdown.


About 1,100 Guard employees were furloughed Tuesday because of the budget stalemate in Congress, the bulk of them dual-status federal employees required to be a member of the Arkansas Army or Air National Guard to hold their full-time federal position.


The Arkansas Military Department also furloughed 364 state employees whose positions are tied to federal funds.


"Despite the significant challenges and negative impact on morale and readiness, we will continue to support key military operations and emergency responses; that’s what we do," Adjutant General William D. Wofford said in a release Wednesday.


Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 19th Airlift Wing commander at the Little Rock Air Force Base, said Wednesday that military personnel were still reporting for duty at the base, but about 350 civilian personnel were subject to an emergency furlough.


On Monday, President Obama signed into law the Pay Our Military Act, which protects paychecks for military personnel on active duty. Wofford said it was not clear whether the law applies to National Guard technicians or National Guard inactive duty training.


"I hope Congress will consider adding the National Guard to this statute," Wooford said. "It shouldn’t mean pay some of our military; it means pay them all."


On Wednesday, the Department of Finance and Administration said 685 state employees were on furlough. The bulk of the furloughs were from the state Military Department and the state Department of Human Services, officials said.


Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday that as many as 18,000 state employees could be furloughed if the shutdown is prolonged.


Also Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture outlined the impact of the government shutdown on federal nutrition programs. The agency said the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will continue and eligible households will receive their October benefits.


However, the USDA said there is no additional funding to support the Women Infants and Children’s (WIC) program. Beebe and the state Department of Health said Tuesday there were enough funds in Arkansas to allow that program to continue for at least one week.


The governor also said some end-of-the-fiscal-year federal funds had been found to continue providing 86,000 daily meals to pre-kindergarten and before and after school program for at least a few weeks.