Casey, Toomey to Defense: Keep C-130s in Pittsburgh

No Moves on 911th Until the National Commission Makes It’s Assessment

Washington DC - Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) today released a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urging him to keep the C-130s stationed at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, home of the 911th Airlift Wing.  The letter also called on Secretary to hold-off on any moves until the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force has completed its work.

“In the absence of any thorough analysis, which the Air Force has yet to provide, we are concerned it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to close this installation,” the Senators wrote. “ We strongly believe that no action to close or downsize the unit should be undertaken until the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force has completed its work and Congress has been provided the analysis needed to assess the wisdom of any such action.”

The text of the letter to Secretary Panetta is below:

The Honorable Leon Panetta

Secretary

U.S. Department of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20301

Dear Secretary Panetta:

As you know, the FY 2013 National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress establishes a National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force to assess future air force structure requirements. Pending completion of the Commission’s work we are writing to strongly urge the Air Force to continue stationing C-130 aircraft at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, home of the 911th Airlift Wing. Doing so would enable the Air Force to avail itself of the unit’s deep bench of experience and outstanding support from the Pittsburgh International Airport.

As we have pointed out in previous correspondence, the 911th is a very efficient and cost effective installation that is an essential part of the proudly patriotic community in the Pittsburgh area. Its aircraft maintenance program has resulted in an increase of aircraft availability days while saving the Pentagon more than $42 million over the last five years. Additionally, the Pentagon pays only $20,000 to lease more than 100 acres for the unit which is a small sum when compared to the parallel costs at other bases and installations. Finally and perhaps most importantly, an incredibly skilled and experienced workforce is employed at the 911th installation, a significant and irreplaceable resource for the Air Force.

In the absence of any thorough analysis, which the Air Force has yet to provide, we are concerned it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars to close this installation. We strongly believe that no action to close or downsize the unit should be undertaken until the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force has completed its work and Congress has been provided the analysis needed to assess the wisdom of any such action.

Thank you for your consideration of our request.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.                                                                                        Pat Toomey

United States Senator                                                                                     United States Senator

Press Contact

Casey: 202-228-6367

Toomey: 202-224-0437