Murphy to Meet with Leaders to Help Prevent 911th Closure
Rep. Tim Murphy is slated to meet with military and community leaders Thursday.
U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy is slated to meet with military and community leaders Thursday to discuss efforts to prevent the closure of the 911th Airlift Wing.
Personnel at the 911th have been told they will learn March 6 about the Air Force's plans for them following the closure.
On Monday night, Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said he met with Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig to discuss a proposal to close the 911th and reduce the number of aircraft at the 171st Refueling Wing. In a statement, Murphy said the general pledged his support for the facilities and efforts to prevent the planned closure of the 911th and reduction of aircraft at the 171st.
Murphy and other members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation in recent weeks have spoken out against the closing of the 911th, which employs more than 1,300 military and 318 civilian personnel.
Citing the 911th's aging aircraft and a need for geographic balance, the U.S. Air Force earlier this month announced plans to close the air unit as part of a nationwide effort to reduce federal defense spending.
The Air Force strategic plan, which is estimated to save $8.7 billion in defense spending next year, makes more than two-thirds of its cuts from guard and reserve units, according to Murphy's office. The 911th is the only base in the country set to close under the plan.
Murphy said Craig told him Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units are more cost-effective than their active-duty counterparts. Both the 911th and the 171st share runways at the Pittsburgh International Airport that are maintained by the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
How do you feel about efforts to prevent the closing of the 911th and realignment of the 171st?