CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The announcement of cutting Westover Air Reserve Base's C-5 Fleet by half has nearby businesses and veterans bracing for the impact.
These cuts are not final but they are one step closer to moving a large part of Westover's identity-- half their largest cargo aircraft.
If they hadn't before, the proposed transfer of eight C-5 planes to Texas has the Chicopee community appreciative of what Westover has brought to the area.
"Westover has been here since the Second World War, it's a major part of this country, the defense of our country and all the present wars planes have been flying out of Westover," said Angus Rushlow.
The possibility of cutting the number of planes assigned to Westover has nearby business owners worried about the loss of jobs.
Aurora Bradway runs her pizzeria down the street from the base. "We depend on Westover to be part of our business without them I don't know if we would be successful in this area especially," said Bradway.
Nothing is final until a congressionally mandated study determines where resources are needed
but for the large veteran community, Westover has been a large part of their life.
Kimberly Babin, Director of Veterans Services for Chicopee said, "It's got a huge military impact when 73 came a lot of the people that were in the air force at the time retired so all of those veterans and their families are here."
Now there are approximately 15,000 veterans in Chicopee alone. Many are confident Westover will continue to thrive despite any cuts.