Offutt Air Force Base's air show is safe — for now — from cuts that have grounded the Air Force's demonstration squad, the Thunderbirds.
“At this point we are still planning on having an air show, but that all could change,” said Delanie Stafford, an Offutt spokesman.
He said the ultimate decision will be made by Air Combat Command, of which Offutt's 55th Wing is part.
“We do enjoy opening our gates to our friends and neighbors in the surrounding communities,” Stafford said.
The Thunderbirds will not perform after April 1 because of automatic federal budget cuts that took effect Friday.
The Navy's Blue Angels also will not be flying, at least through April, because of the cuts.
Offutt's air show, which has been performed annually since 1972, is scheduled for Aug. 24 and 25 this year. The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels were not scheduled to perform, Stafford said.
The cuts also mean that some federal funding for air shows will be canceled, but that won't affect Offutt because it already has funding for the event, Stafford said.
Congress mandated $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts spread over nine years as part of a 2011 deal to increase the U.S. debt limit. Though the cuts were designed to be so onerous that Congress and the president wouldn't let them occur, a congressional impasse allowed the onset of the automatic cuts to occur Friday. They're set to total $85 billion this year.
This report contains material from World-Herald wire services.
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