WASHINGTON, Jan. 20, 2018 — The Defense Department will continue its mission to defend the people of the United States, American allies and U.S. vital interests around the world during the government shutdown that began at midnight, Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said in a memo.
“We will continue to execute daily operations around the world – ships and submarines will remain at sea, our aircraft will continue to fly and our warfighters will continue to pursue terrorists throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia,” the secretary said. “While training for reservists must be curtailed, active forces will stay at their posts adapting their training to achieve the least negative impact on our readiness to fight.
Commitment to Mitigate Impacts
“I recognize the consequences of a government shutdown,” Mattis wrote. “You have my personal commitment that the department’s leadership will do our best to mitigate the impacts of the disruptions and any financial burdens to you and your families.
“Steady as she goes – hold the line. I know the nation can count on you.”
Just before his signature, Mattis wrote “Stay alert.”