WASHINGTON -- Congress has stymied the Obama administration's efforts to close the detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay, but there's one component of Guantanamo that it has now shut down: the office that provides academic counseling and educational services to the military personnel stationed there.
Because of the government shutdown, military personnel in Guantanamo were informed Tuesday that Navy College Office GTMO was closed until further notice. The office processes tuition assistance requests, joint services transcripts and helps Navy sailors establish education plans. Tuition assistance funds will not be available for classes that began after Oct. 1.
Additionally, Guantanamo's Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs, which provide activities for members of the military, are operating on an "as is" status until additional funds are appropriated. A spokesman for Joint Task Force Guantanamo did not elaborate on the details.
The spokesman also said detainee operations were unaffected by the shutdown.
"There are no immediate changes to detainee operations at Joint Task Force Guantanamo," Navy Cmdr. John Filostrat told The Huffington Post. "Our first and primary mission is the safe, humane, legal and transparent care for the detainees in our custody, and our military guard force and medical personnel are exempt from the shutdown. We have the resources needed to continue our mission."