Proposed Pentagon cuts could affect Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Officials at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs are bracing for possible cuts.

Tuesday, The Gazette quoted 302nd Airlift Wing spokeswoman Ann Skarban as saying 200 airmen and a third of the planes now assigned to the wing could be cut as the Pentagon tries to  reduce spending by $900 billion over a decade. 

The wing's commander, Col. Courtney Arnold, says the proposal is in its early stages.

"We will continue to train, fly and deploy -- keeping in perspective this is a proposal in the very beginning stage," said Arnold.

The Gazette reports the proposed target is the 52nd Airlift Squadron, for which a $5.6 million operations facility was built when it came to Peterson in 2009 as part of an Air Force plan to tie active-duty airmen to reserve units. 

Aerial firefighting is a specialty of the 302nd, whose reservists have responded to Colorado wildfires in recent summers.

Most recently, Airmen and aircraft from the 302nd Airlift Wing have supported multiple deployments in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Coronet Oak, Provide Promise and Unified Response.

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