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Navy Cuts Flight Hours, Cancels Performances as It Deals with Aviation Budget Shortfall

The Navy will curtail flight hours for several East Coast rotary- and fixed-wing aviation units and cut several air show performances after demands on deployed patrol squadrons led to a budget shortfall of more than $100 million.

Navy H-60 Sea Hawk pilots in helicopter sea combat and maritime strike squadrons will see their flight hours cut by 25% for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, according to a Navy aviation official familiar with the plans. Pilots who fly in planes in maritime patrol or fleet support squadrons will also face a 10% flight hour reduction, the official said.

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Naval Aviation Facing Unexpected Budget Shortfall; Options to Slow Spending Being Considered

The naval aviation community is facing a budget shortfall of at least $100 million for the current fiscal year and may have to cut back flight hours and other operations between now and the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, USNI News learned.

Commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic Rear Adm. Roy Kelley has notified Navy leadership and the numbered fleets that the aviation community is considering not scheduling additional flyovers until the new fiscal year, reducing flight hours in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year, reducing the operations of expeditionary detachments of helicopter maritime strike squadrons and helicopter sea combat squadron and possibly shutting down an air wing.

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