Event Planned For April Normally Draws 100,000 To The Base
The MacDill AirFest air show planned for April at MacDill AFB near Tampa, FL, faces cancellation should sequestration go into effect this week. The show regularly draws as many as 100,000 people to the base, and the show lists the Navy's Blue Angels as the headline act.
But the Blue Angel's entire schedule is in jeopardy should the automatic budget cuts take place, and MacDill staff has said that if they are unable to have the jet demonstration team perform, the entire event will be cancelled, according to a report from television station WTSP.
Pentagon sources also say that the Air Force plans to make the same cuts for civilian workers as were announced by the Army, meaning civilians working at MacDill would be required to take 22 unpaid furlough days during the course of the year. Across the state of Florida, the plan would take $95 million out of the pockets of civilian Air Force workers. MacDill says it employees just under 3,000 civilians.
Sequestration would also mean that eight MILCON projects would be postponed, making about a $6.6 million impact on the local economy. Base officials said temporary workers would be laid off early in, contracts with others would not be renewed, and a civilian hiring freeze would go into effect March 1. Pay and benefits for veterans and active-duty personnel would not be affected.