Obama to land at air base threatened by his defense cuts

The National Guard base in Mansfield, Ohio, where President Barack Obama will land aboard Air Force One Wednesday for a campaign visit is being threatened under the president’s proposed defense budget cuts.

The Mansfield News Journal reports the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard will position its C27-Js where Obama can see them Wednesday.

The vice commander of the unit, Col. Michael Howard said, “We’re still very optimistic about keeping the C27-Js.”

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, considered to be on Mitt Romney’s short list of possible running mates, said, “If President Obama has his way, his Air Force One arrival would be one of the final flights into Mansfield-Lahm Airport… [Ohioans] must be pretty frustrated to see the president drop into town, ignore their award-winning work, and fail to give them a straight answer about his plans to end their important mission.”

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown also opposes the proposed Mansfield cuts.

“When the president travels to Mansfield on Wednesday, I hope he will get a better sense of just how vital the C-27J program is to the Air National Guard Base at Mansfield and the economy of north central Ohio,” said Brown.

Neither the Romney nor Obama campaigns were available to comment on the matter.