The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee has endorsed efforts to prevent the Moon-based 911th Airlift Wing from closing down.
Rep. Buck McKeon, R-CA, today urged Air Force officials to halt efforts to close the air wing as a cost-cutting measure.
According to a statement from McKeon:
Installations like the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station have been vital to supporting our men and women deployed in harms way. New concepts in warfare have made our soldiers on the ground more dependent than ever on airlift assets like Pittsburgh's C-130s. The Air Force didn't take those missions into account when they offered their plans to cut inventory earlier this year. Congress has directed them to correct that error and fully appreciate the vital contributions reserve units like the 911th make.”
The Air Force is pursuing an effort to shut down the base in March 2013—right after a temporary law to prevent such a closure expires
The closure would include the elimination of the base's 1,100 military and 300 civilian positions. The 911th was first targeted for closure because of its aging C-130 tactical aircraft, which are among the oldest still flying in the military.
From Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair:
Our efforts to keep the base open are gaining support because we’ve shown the 911th is leaner and more efficient than other bases. And, we’ve since learned the Air Force recommendation to close the 911th isn’t based on need, numbers, or national security, but because it’s the only base that can be closed without congressional approval.