Keesler bracing for budget cuts

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - American military installations are receiving orders from the Department of Defense to find ways to save money. Keesler Air Force Base has been given a mandate that will affect the base's 81st support squadron that oversees basic services.

"We are facing serious budget cuts. Overall we've been cut 40 percent this year in our operating budget," said 81st FSS Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Sharon Nickelberry.

"We were faced with the decision to either close down some of our operations or downsizing and consolidating services for our community."

Here's the plan. The two community centers on the base, Bay Breeze and Vandenberg will be consolidated.

Bay Breeze will remain open until February 1. Vandenberg will then become the main community center. McBride Library will close at the end of February with resources and services being moved.

"The library is re-structuring. We'll go to a concept known as the Vandenberg Commons."

The new mini library, as it's being called, will not allow materials to be checked out, but will feature computer technology that will give the Keesler Community digital access to information.

All of this reflects a military wide call for reducing costs.

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