MacDill Air Force Base could be vulnerable in proposed budget cu - FOX 13 News

MacDill Air Force Base could be vulnerable in proposed budget cuts

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is calling for defense cuts that would affect all forces of the U.S. military, active and reserve.

The cuts would affect staffing and benefits. Hagel also called for another base realignment and closure round to consider merging or closing bases to reduce operating costs.

MacDill Air Force Base is home to U.S. Central Command and Special Operations command. It has gone through significant expansion in recent years.

But as the Pentagon refocuses missions and priorities, and Congress plans steeper budget cuts in the coming years, any base could face significant changes.

"When it comes to military cutting, nothing is sacred. We've got to have the guard up," said E.J. Otero a retired strategic planner for U.S. Central Command. "Eliminate a base completely, adding to another base -- that's where the chess game begins."

Otero urged Florida's Congressional delegation to work with military leaders now to develop a plan to defend the value of MacDill in Tampa.

CLICK ON THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE TO WATCH CRAIG PATRICK'S FULL REPORT.

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