Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees

U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.

Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.

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Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Lyman Dickinson, an aviation-survival technician, is lowered into the water during a search-and-rescue exercise with the Mexican navy off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, June 7, 2017. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 3rd Class Joel Guzman)

Twenty-four days into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, the strain is being felt acutely by the U.S. Coast Guard, as some 42,000 active-duty members are preparing to miss their first paycheck on January 15.

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A surprise maneuver at the end of December ensured Coast Guardsmen got their final paychecks of 2018, despite the government shutdown that began on December 22.

But the shutdown has dragged on, and the income for some 50,000 personnel, including 42,000 deemed essential personnel and required to work during the shutdown, remains in doubt as the first payday of 2019 approaches.

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It's a miracle! The federal government figured out a way not to screw some 42,000 Coast Guardsmen out of pay during the government shutdown. Sort of...

An updated memo released Dec. 27 notes that coasties can expect to get paid on Dec. 31 thanks to a "one-time action" that applies to "military members that served on active duty in the month of December and those reserve military members that drilled prior to the lapse in appropriation."

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