The cuts imposed on Federal spending have yet to make an impact on most Americans. But one thing long associated with patriotic displays has already begun to disappear, thanks to sequestration. For more than twenty years, the Red Sox home opener has featured military flyovers with A-10 and, more recently, F-15 jets from the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield. But that didn’t happen this week at Fenway.
“We’ve had to reduce some of our flying operations that were not directly tied to training.”
Major Matthew Mutti, a spokesman for the 104th, says those curtailed operations, including the Fenway flyover, were the result of sequestration. He says the Wing, which receives as many as several hundred requests a year from across New England, has had to cancel flyovers for the rest of this year, including nearly 60 Memorial Day and 4th of July parades already planned Something, Mutti says, will be missed.
“There is a part of tradition within community celebrations that ties back to the local military units. And the fact that we can support those communities is great for us. Our members are from those communities, and so we’re kind of giving back during those patriotic events.”
Mutti says the cuts’ largest impact will be on civilian employees at Barnes, who make up about two-thirds of the base’s thousand person workforce. They, along with some 750 civilian workers at Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, will be forced to take 14 furlough days beginning in June.