March ARB

As Defense changes loom, the base aims to leverage its versatility and location near the Pacific.

By MARK MUCKENFUSS / One in an occasional series
Published: April 10, 2014 Updated: April 14, 2014 8:48 a.m.
March Air Reserve Base

RIVERSIDE – Two decades ago, the Pentagon shrank March Air Force Base to half its size and cut down its effect on the Riverside-area economy.

Now, a new Pentagon drive to reinvent the military as a smaller, nimbler, more tech-savvy force has local officials on edge once again.

The base is staffed by 6,900 reservists and civilian workers, and closing it could yank $400 million annually from the local economy, based on a recent Air Force analysis.

And plans for possible downsizing are already underway.

March could lose about 150 personnel if the Department of Defense’s proposed budget is passed by Congress. Additionally, a specialized squadron of the 452nd Air Mobility Wing would be lost, and the crews staffing the base’s nine C-17s would be reduced.

Finally, the Combat Camera corps, which serves the entire Air Force Reserve, would be eliminated. The unit comprises about 125 reservist photographers who document combat missions, humanitarian relief efforts and training operations.

To read entire story, click here.