Obama To Land At Ohio Guard Base Facing Cuts

MANSFIELD, Ohio — The Air National Guard base in Ohio where President Barack Obama is scheduled to land Wednesday has been on a list of air guard bases around the country facing cuts.

Col. Michael Howard, the 179th Airlift Wing vice commander, says C27-Js planes will be positioned at the base so the president sees them when Air Force One touches down.

The Mansfield News Journal reported Tuesday that the community has rallied in recent months to help save the base and its aircraft.

The fate of the cuts is uncertain, and in May a U.S. Senate panel approved a measure to block funding cuts to Air National Guard bases around the country.

In a statement Tuesday, a White House spokesman said after the president ended the war in Iraq and began winding down America’s military presence in Afghanistan, “Democrats and Republicans in Congress agreed to tough cuts in defense spending.”

“Military leaders, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, developed a strategy for military re-structuring that will impact the C-27J fleet, whose missions can also be fulfilled by the larger C-130 aircraft,” the spokesman said. But he added, “The president is committed to working with the Department of Defense to find a mission for Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base, so that the men and women who serve there can continue to make their important contribution to our national security.”

Obama has scheduled campaign visits Wednesday to Mansfield and Akron.