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Many airmen in Europe will have to use a mouse in the new year to see what their commanders have to say because several newspapers at several bases will no longer be printed and distributed, a U.S. Air Forces in Europe official said this week. Instead, the service’s command news will be posted online and available to everyone around the globe.

The moves are being made as Air Force public affairs staffs face reductions and commanders seek ways to save money. In an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes, the service said that moving to an electronic edition would help on both fronts.

Col. Michael Caldwell, deputy director of public affairs at the Pentagon, estimated that a typical base paper costs about $4,000 a week to produce. He said that posting articles online would allow the service to get its message across much quicker than waiting a week for the printed version to hit the stands around base.

In November, officials at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey announced the command would reduce the size of its paper to four pages starting in January, putting most content online. Other bases will soon follow, according to Capt. Jennifer Lovett, USAFE spokeswoman.

Base papers at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall in England will be available online only starting Feb. 2, Lovett said in an e-mail Thursday, and the Eifel Times at Spangdalhem Air Base in Germany will follow Incirlik’s lead, swapping over to a four-page print edition starting in July.

The Kaiserslautern American, which serves, in part, Ramstein Air Base, doesn’t plan on making changes, Lovett stated. Other USAFE bases either don’t plan to stop publishing, or they haven’t made a decision yet, she said.

The bottom line, she said, is that each wing commander has to determine the best route to disseminate information to his audiences.

Command information newspapersHere is a look at what Air Force bases in Europe are doing with their command information newspapers:

Azores ¶ Lajes Field — Undecided.

England ¶ RAF Menwith Hill — No changes planned.¶ RAF Alconbury — Undecided.¶ RAF Croughton — No changes planned.¶ RAF Lakenheath — Going to Web-based publication on Feb. 2.¶ RAF Mildenhall — Going to Web-based publication on Feb. 2.¶ RAF Molesworth — Undecided.¶ RAF Upwood — Undecided.

Germany ¶ Spangdahlem Air Base — Will publish newspaper until July, when it will start a four-page online newsletter.¶ Kaiserslautern military community — No changes planned.

Italy ¶ Aviano Air Base, Italy — News will be available online and with a publication.

Turkey ¶ Incirlik Air Base — Reducing paper to four pages in January.¶ Izmir — Went to electronic edition in May.

Source: U.S. Air Forces in Europe

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