Federal funding for a drone command center in Horsham was to be earmarked on Oct. 1, the same day as the government shutdown.
Yet, the mission intended for the Horsham Air Guard Station remains intact, according to Col. Howard “Chip” Eissler, commander of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 111th Fighter Wing.
"It shouldn't really affect anything going on with that," Eissler said during a meeting with Patch Wednesday morning in which he shared that 39 military personnel were furloughed and the station's Hometown Heroes Day set for Saturday had been cancelled.
The establishment of a drone command center, which is expected to bring 250 jobs to the region, may see a delay of "less than a month," according to Eissler.
So far, he said seven or eight people have been hired for the mission, which involves having a pilot and a sensor operator controlling an MQ-9 Reaper from a virtual cockpit at the Horsham Air Guard Station.
The actual aircraft will not be located on the base, but would be flown overseas.
Eissler said previously that it would take two years to train personnel and build facilities needed for the multi-million dollar mission. The planes cost $53 million per every four aircraft and between $7 million to $8 million would be spent to rehabilitate buildings at the Horsham Air Guard Station.
Eissler said the government shutdown's impact on the planned remotely piloted aircraft facility would be minimal, at most.
"It could delay somebody going off to training," he said of the government shutdown.