Air Force announces cuts to southwest Ohio base

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — The leader of a major Air Force command based in Ohio says budget uncertainties and a projected $1.8 billion funding shortfall require immediate spending cuts.

Gen. Janet Wolfenbarger heads the Air Force Materiel Command based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. The command employs nearly 82,000 people at nine different bases, including 14,000 at Wright-Patterson.

Wolfenbarger said Wednesday the cuts include a temporary civilian hiring freeze and the firing of temporary employees except for critical activities. Noncritical travel and flying such as air shows will be curtailed.

The command also is limiting nonessential studies and purchases and deferring maintenance and modernization projects.

Officials say more reductions are possible if Congress and President Barack Obama fail to stop nearly $500 billion in automatic budget cuts set to begin in March.

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