Sequestration cutbacks hit defense
Humanitarian losses: Missions like Hurricane Sandy relief could be curtailed.
$85 billion: Regionally, March Air Force base looks at major hit to its budget.
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/15/2013 07:17:12 PM PDT
Updated: 03/15/2013 09:49:23 PM PDT
Air Reserve Technicians perform maintenance on the C-17A Globemaster at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside. The base is one of many bases that will be affected by the Federal sequestration. (Gabriel Luis Acosta/Staff Photographer)
Washington's recent failure to meet politicians' self-imposed deadline for broad-based budget cuts does not seem to have yet had much effect on average Americans, but its impacts on the military are on pace to "snowball".
That's the word from Lt. Col Don Traud at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, home of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing.
The 452nd's pilots and crew members take flight in C-17 Globemaster jets and KC-135R Stratotankers, which are respectively deployed to transport personnel and cargo and conduct air refueling missions.
"One of our biggest missions is actually picking up the wounded in the Middle East and fly them to Germany, or if they need critical care, fly them back here," Traud said.
At March, cutbacks may lead to a reduced capability to perform humainitarian missions.
March pilots have flown relief missions after crises such as Hurricane Sandy and earthquakes in Japan and Haiti, but planned reductions in training time may result in pilots not having enough hours clocked in to be considered mission-ready.
Traud said those training cuts are set to affect the entire Air Force, as of next month.
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