JACKSONVILLE, AR — Right now, 28 aircraft are scheduled to leave the Little Rock Air Force Base because of the federal sequester.
Not only will this affect men and women at the base, but it could cause serious harm to Jacksonville’s economy because at least 300 active-duty military members will be impacted by these changes.
Xavier Penilton works in security forces at the base.
He doesn’t know if he’ll be impacted by budget cuts, but he’s not stressing out about it.
He said, “One day at a time. Nothing is ever taken in strides with me. I just go with it a day at a time, a step at a time and see what happens.”
That’s not the case for Amy Mattison, CEO of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce.
She said, “It will be a major hit. We are home of the Little Rock Air Force Base.”
She knows the base cut-backs won’t be easy to deal with and everyone in Jacksonville could be impacted from grocery stores to gas stations, restaurants and real estate.
And preparing for the unknown, is not an easy task.
Mattison says businesses will be seeing less money, but just how much less, has yet to be determined.
She said, “It will be something that we are just going to have to deal with daily like they do…roll with the punches and make lemonade. “
So for now it’s a waiting game to find out who will be impacted and what that impact will have on this military town.
A base spokeswoman says the Pentagon should give them a better idea of exactly how many people and which departments will be impacted by June.
Also, as part of the sequestration, Little Rock Air Force Base will have to cut $2 million out of it’s operations budget and $1.8 million in spending.
These cuts will affect things like flying hours, travel and maintenance funds.
The base has been slowing down spending since January to meet this goal.