Lewis Diuguid

Communities like Kansas City to pay price for military cuts

The Defense Department is taking the right steps in cutting the Army down to a size not seen since before World War II.

The force reduction, however, will result in some pain for the communities across the country that have military bases. Whiteman Air Force Base about 60 miles east of Kansas City and the surrounding towns will likely be among those to feel the effects.

Two dozen A-10 fighter planes are scheduled to be eliminated. The Kansas City area experienced the cutback of the A-10 planes in 1994 from what had been Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in south Kansas City.

Military cutbacks before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks led to Richard-Gebaur and other bases being closed nationwide. The loss is measured in millions of dollars in federal money that no longer will go to a community.

Parts of the country also will lose retiring military personnel. They often settle in areas where there are military bases.

The A-10 force, which had been at Richards-Gebaur, moved to Whiteman. But it’s back on the cut list.

As in civilian life, technology has changed as well as the mission of the Armed Forces, prompting military equipment and personnel cuts to keep up. It will give some people and politicians the smaller government that they wanted.

But people and communities will pay the price for it.

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