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Air base commander a victim of spending cuts

Augustine

The commander of the Air National Guard base in Fort Wayne is among 200 civilian military technicians who will lose work time and pay under federal budget cuts known as sequestration.

Col. David Augustine and the rest will be forced to take unpaid leave once a week for 22 weeks starting in April unless Congress delays or revamps spending reductions approved in 2011.

Augustine, a command pilot and a combat veteran, is considered a dual-status military civilian technician for the 122nd Fighter Wing.

"If he's called up, he's called up on the military side of things," Col. Cathy Van Bree, public affairs officer for the Indiana National Guard, said Thursday. "He gets two paychecks from two different funding streams. All of our military technicians do.

"If there was a state emergency or a national emergency, he would be put in a different status" and report for duty, even if it happened on a leave day, Van Bree said.

"People at all ranks will be affected by this," she said about sequestration.

Military technicians account for half the personnel in the Indiana National Guard.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Friday.

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