Lawmakers averted a repeat of last year's government shutdown by passing a measure that will fund the government over the next few months.
The House approved the continuing resolution Sept. 17. The Senate passed it the following day. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law Sept. 19. The action will keep the federal government operating from Oct. 1 through Dec. 11.
A continuing resolution is a stopgap that keeps the government running in the absence of a funding agreement for the next fiscal year.Read more: Congress Approves CR; Keeps Money Flowing
For many Army National Guard soldiers, September drill is back on for this weekend.
Most states had canceled training this month because of a $101 million shortfall nationwide in funds. But the National Guard Bureau received congressional approval last week to shift money from one fund to the personnel account that covers drill costs.
Maryland National Guard officials said all soldiers who have not drilled in September will do so starting Sept. 27. The state is among the few that had sufficient funds to enable some units to drill earlier in the month.
Officials with the Ohio National Guard also said they will hold training the last weekend in September. They noted that units with orders to deploy were still able to train this month as planned, but another 10,000 soldiers still need to complete their inactive duty training requirement.
The South Carolina National Guard said all September drills are "back on schedule." And the Idaho National Guard announced in a press release last week that its training is back on for the last weekend of the month.
The reprogramming request had to be approved by the secretary of the Army, the defense secretary, the White House Office of Management and Budget, and the Armed Services Committee and the appropriations subcommittee on defense in both chambers.Read more: September Drill Back on for Army Guardsmen
A historic National Guard deployment is featured in a new photography exhibit at the National Guard Memorial building in Washington, D.C.
The 17 photos on display were taken by Staff Sgt. Sean Huolihan. The Wisconsin National Guardsman deployed in 2013 as communications section chief with Battery B, 1st Battalion, 121st Field Artillery. The unit was the first Army National Guard combat field artillery mission in Afghanistan, and fired the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.
Huolihan and his family traveled from Wisconsin to join NGAUS and National Guard Educational Foundation staff at a reception Thurs., Sept. 18 kicking off the exhibit. He explained that the photos are a testament to the hard work of the soldiers in the field.
"These pictures are more about 121 and the men that I served with more than anything else," he said. "All I did was just capture what they did."
That's exactly why Anne Armstrong, the deputy director of NGEF, contacted Huolihan about putting together an exhibit after seeing his photos online.
She said Thursday that it is important to show how the citizen-soldier's role has changed since September 11. Armstrong said Huolihan's images bring the war home so that "the heart of America knows where we are and what we're doing."
Huolihan is an electrical transformer inspector by trade, and at the time of his deployment photography was a hobby. He said he first picked up a digital single-lens reflex camera in 2009 and has continued to practice his craft over the years.
"You're only as good as your last picture," he said.
Huolihan said he took more than 10,000 photos during the 10 months he was deployed. He is now a professional photographer living in Shorewood, Wis.Read more: Photography Exhibit Tells Guard Story