Casey urges saving 911th Airlift Wing

By:  Paul Gough

The battle to save the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township continued in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday with calls by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey to pass the defense bill with protection for the wing.

The 911th Airlift Wing and four aircraft from the 171st Air Refueling Wing are slated to be cut in the upcoming Department of Defense budget. But Casey and other local, state and federal officials are fighting to keep the local bases whole.

Casey wrote a letter to Senate leadership in support of the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act.

"Preserving the 911th will be a hard fight but getting this provision in a bill that Congress must pass is a major step forward," Casey said in a prepared statement. "It’s important that the Senate leaders commit to keeping this important provision in this year’s defense bill because if passed it will prevent the Air Force from taking dramatic, irrevocable action that will unduly impact southwest PA and deprive the military of a top-notch workforce."

Proponents for the base say that the Air Force hasn't done all of its homework in making the case that the 911th should be closed and the 171st's four aircraft transferred.