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911th Airlift Wing reschedules training weekend because of budget uncertainties

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Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Budget uncertainties caused the Air Force Reserve's 911th Airlift Wing in Moon to reschedule a training weekend, but it hasn't canceled the training, a spokesman said Monday.

Congress has not passed a defense budget for the year, so the Defense Department and individual bases are taking steps to make sure they can cover necessary operations, Capt. Shawn Walleck said.

“The goal was to be fiscally prudent,” he said.

Congress passed a continuing resolution, which expires March 27, that funds the Defense Department at 2012 levels. The proposed budget contains several increases.

The Pentagon on Jan. 10 put out a memo directing defense agencies to plan for budget problems, according to the Armed Forces Press Service. The memo told commands to consider freezing civilian hiring, cutting temporary employees, curtailing travel, training and conferences and otherwise reducing operating expenses.

The 911th reviewed its financial obligations through March and started trimming items, Walleck said. The unit rescheduled the training to June with the hope that Congress will pass the budget by then.

Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, said it would be a mistake to focus only on the military when the budget impasse effectively paralyzes the entire government and much of the country's economy. Private businesses will have trouble planning until Congress makes clear what taxes they'll pay, he said.

“What we need is to provide everybody with some degree of certainty,” Doyle said.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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