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Feb 20, 2012 9:43 AM by AP

Budget cuts would eliminate Belle Chasse squadron

BELLE CHASSE, La. (AP) - The Navy has proposed decommissioning a squadron at the air station in Belle Chasse as part of its plans to meet President Barack Obama's budget cut orders.
The Times-Picayune reports that would eliminate the only naval aviation unit dedicated to fighting drug smugglers.
Under the 2013 spending plan released last Monday, the Navy Reserve's Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 77 would cease to exist Sept. 30.
Known as the Nightwolves, the squadron has about 100 active duty and reserve Navy aircrews. About 55 civilian contractors from Northrup Grumman maintain its six E-2C Hawkeye airplanes.
Navy spokesman Lt. Paul Macapagal says the choice is between units designed to fight wars and those with missions like that of "VAW-77".

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