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By Jane Lednovich
The Arizona Republic
Fri Feb 15, 2013

Luke Air Force Base officials announced Friday they have canceled their March air show that hundreds of thousands of people attend due to the possibility of steep federal financial cuts, according to a press release.

Luke officials said they don’t want to waste taxpayer dollars with the threat of a deal not being reached on the massive, across-the-board spending cuts. Part of the Glendale base’s plan to reduce costs includes significantly reducing flying not directly related to pilot training, the release said.

The automatic cuts — a process known as sequestration — were put into place by a bipartisan budget compromise in August 2011 that averted a default on the federal debt.

“Given the budgetary pressures and expected repercussions if sequestration goes into effect, we need to cancel this year's Luke Days,” Brig. Gen. Michael Rothstein, 56th Fighter Wing commander, said in the press release.

“I cannot in good conscience spend some of our limited resources to host an Open House, while the Defense Department considers potential civilian furloughs."

“Storm on the Horizon,” the base’s dual open house and air show, was originally scheduled for March 16 and 17. No dates have been announced for any future open houses.

Luke has hosted open houses since the early 1950s and holds one about every two years. More than 200,000 people attended the March 2011 open house.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Pensacola Florida
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The Navy Blue Angels may not have any shows between April and September because of sequestration.
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