Corbett urges federal officials to save the 911th
The Air Force will likely decide by March whether to keep open the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon, giving local officials less than three months to lobby against shuttering it.
Gov. Tom Corbett visited the base Friday, saying it was “shortsighted and a mistake” to target the base for closure.
“I understand the need to cut costs but I do not understand when accountants look at numbers solely,” Corbett said. “It's clear that Western Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County have a great relationship (with the base).”
The future of the 911th base came into doubt earlier this month when Congress' defense spending bill did not include a provision to save the base. Local officials hoped the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act would have prevented the Air Force from closing the 911th until the new National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force had a chance to analyze the Department of Defense proposal.
About 2,000 people work at the 911th or are based there. It is home to eight C-130 cargo planes, although one is on loan to another base.
In February, the Air Force announced plans to close the base by September 2013, saying the move could save $354 million over five years. The Air Force has said it plans to reduce its force by 9,900 people and ground nearly 300 planes. The 911th's C-130s could be retired as part of that plan.
Corbett said he would help the Pennsylvania congressional delegation press to keep the base open. The governor's visit occurred two days after Sens. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, and Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh, released a letter they wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to keep the base open until the commission studying Air Force structure released its findings.
Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said the Air Force has not released any financial analysis of the base and has not looked at maintenance costs comparing the 911th to others. Murphy pointed to the deal the base has with Pittsburgh International Airport to use its runways for $20,000.
“Other reserve stations pay runway and emergency response expenses that are 200 times greater than that amount,” Murphy said.
Murphy provided a report from the 911th that shows the planes based there flew more total hours per C-130 than at nine other bases from 2010 to 2012. The report also said the 911th exceeded its recruitment goals from 2005 to 2011.
Bobby Kerlik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7886 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pa. gaming industry’s growth amplifies siren call for addicts
- Hempfield train crash search called off; no evidence found
- Drenching rains green pastures, bode well for cattle herd expansion in Great Plains
- Good season predicted for region’s boaters
- De Silvestro must take advantage of powerful engine
- Former pitcher Allie happily adjusting to outfield
- Ex-Baldwin, Pitt star Pinkston not giving up on NFL dream
- Roaring Run mountain bike trail to be thrust into limelight
- Coroners, organ harvesting group spar over procurement process
- Nonprofits in Pa. barely break even, survey finds
- Unquestionable courage & sacrifice