Commission Cancellation (Updated)

By Maggie Ybarra / September 30, 2013 at 9:03 PM

A commission tasked with making recommendations on the Air Force's force structure has canceled its plan to visit Barksdale Air Force Base, LA, this week due to "uncertainties surrounding the potential shutdown of the U.S. Government," according to a Sept. 30 commission statement.

The group, known as the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, had also expected to hold a public hearing on Oct. 1, but that hearing has been canceled, too, per the statement. The panel has yet to reschedule its visit to Barksdale AFB.

This summer and fall, the eight-member commission has been on a tour of various bases throughout the United States. Barksdale AFB was on that list along with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ, and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Springfield Air National Guard Base, Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base and Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio, according to a July 15 Air Force statement. Joint Base Langley-Eustis, VA; Tinker Air Force Base, OK; Pease Air National Guard Base, NH; Westover Air Reserve Base, MA; Burlington International Airport, VT; Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI; and Beale Air Force Base, CA, were also on that list.

The commission embarked on its tour in July.

During the base tour, commission members have been inspecting facilities, listening to mission briefings, meeting airmen at wing, group and squadron levels, and holding off-base hearings with state and local community leaders.

"The site visits and public hearings conducted by the commission are part of the commission's congressionally mandated mission to comprehensively study the U.S. Air Force and its three components -- the active, Reserve, and Guard -- for an independent analysis that will determine if and how the Air Force's structure should be modified to best fill current and future mission requirements with available resources," according to the Sept. 30 statement.

Panel members anticipate delivering their report and recommendations to President Obama and Congress on Feb. 1, 2014.

UPDATE: The National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force may postpone two additional hearings due to the potential government shutdown, according to a second statement issued by the commission today. Those hearings were expected to take place on Oct. 4 in Colorado Springs, CO, and on Oct. 9 at Westover Metropolitan Airport, MA.