CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - The new buzz word going around is "Sequestration". 22News reveals what it means and what it could mean for Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee.
Sequestration in simple terms means that all federal programs need to cut their budget by 8 percent a year for the next decade. That includes the defense budget.
Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is already expected to lose half its fleet of C-5 cargo planes by 2016. Now Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette is fighting to get the Department of Defense to assign 16 C-5 modified planes to Westover instead of reducing its fleet.
"We saw what can happen in the Pioneer Valley when a major base closes. We had that happen at Westover in the mid-70's. We're bound and determined to make sure that something like that doesn't happen again in western Massachusetts", says Mayor Bissonnette.
Bissonnette hopes that the Defense Department will spend $90 million to modify these planes, instead of $220 to build and relocate new ones.
The mayor told 22News he's working with Westover on this and is reaching out to our Congressman, Senator(s) and Governor.