Potential U.S. military cuts far deeper than Pa. proposal

    The head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says budget cuts will mean about 60 layoffs.

    Decisions at the national level, however, could lead to more cuts.

    Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig said his agency can deal with the roughly $6 million decrease under Gov. Tom Corbett’s budget plan.

    But he said the U.S. Air Force is looking to reduce a National Guard air-refueling wing in Pittsburgh by 25 percent and close another air wing entirely.

    “We think it’s a dumb idea. The reason is primarily because we are the most cost-effective part of the national defense,” Craig said Wednesday. “The air guard gets about 7 to 8 percent of the budget, and provides 30 to 40 percent of the airplanes flown by the U.S. Air Force.”

    There are up to 1,200 personnel at the air wing the U.S. Air Force wants to close; Craig says about 400 of those are full time.

    He says Corbett is lobbying governors nationwide to oppose the move.

    Under Corbett’s spending plan, the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs would need to cut about 60 jobs from its homes for disabled and chronically ill veterans and their spouses.

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