An Air Force base outside Pittsburgh that's slated to close is the backdrop for first lady Michelle Obama to recognize veterans and military families in a speech scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

The Air Force recently announced plans to shut the 911th Airlift Wing in 2013, setting off widespread protests in the surrounding community.

Supporters of the base say that what the first lady says — or doesn't say — about the closing could have an impact on western Pennsylvania voters in November's elections.

The visit is supposed to honor military families, but some are asking how that message can possibly fit with plans to eliminate the base.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a question about whether the first lady plans to address the base closing in her speech.