CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) - Air shows across the country are being canceled as the military prepares for the impact of automatic federal budget cuts.
The Air Force canceled has shows from Florida to Arizona.
Colonel Steven Vautrain, Commander of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover Air Reserve Base, told 22News that they have already grounded the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels, and now the open houses have been canceled.
He told 22News that it's a loss to the military as a whole.
"It is a huge recruitment tool, but besides that, it's a way for civilians to see what their tax dollars pay for. They can actually come out to the base, see the equipment, talk to the people and you don't get to do that in a lot of other countries," Vautrain said.
"It is a fairly large expense, but in terms of recruiting and bringing the community on base, I think it's well worth the money."
The air show cuts won't have an immediate impact on Westover or Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, because shows had not been scheduled at either base this year.