Good news soldiers overseas–football is back.
The government shutdown caused some unintended interference for U.S. troops overseas on Sunday: no NFL games on the Armed Forces Network.
But with many civilian employees set to be recalled, games will now resume for soldiers abroad–among the most popular programming for deployed military members.
“Recent Department of Defense policy guidance implementing the Pay Our Military Act has allowed the Defense Media Activity to resume American Forces Network entertainment programming. The Act authorized the Secretary of Defense to recall employees whose responsibilities contribute to the morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of active duty service members. Over the next few days, AFN will begin phasing in its service, to include AFN|sports,” an AFN spokesperson told NBC News.
The largely civilian staff had been furloughed last week along with other government employees following Monday evening’s shutdown. Not all programs on the military’s channel disappeared.
Sports were the biggest casualty because of a technical issue. Unlike recorded programs, with pre-set breaks, during a football game an AFN technician would manually hit “play” for commercials during penalties, timeouts and other breaks. But along with other non-essential government employees, those technicians were sent home.
For tonight’s Monday Night Football game, troops will once again be ready for some football.
“The AFN staff is determined to provide the broadest possible scope of programming given the current limited legal and fiscal environment,” said AFN.