23 Aug 2014
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Rep. Murphy: Legislation Could Halt Aircraft Retirements

Murphy's office said two bill drafts could prevent the 911th Airlift Wing from closing in 2013.

Rep. Murphy: Legislation Could Halt Aircraft Retirements

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, said two draft versions of two national defense bills could prevent  the closure of the 911th Airlift Wing, according to his office. 

Murphy said if passed the bills would allow the Moon-based wing to keep each of its eight C-130 aircraft and prevent a downsizing of the neighboring 171st Refueling Wing. 

A defense appropriations bill slated for a vote next week before the House Appropriations Commitee would freeze any proposed retirements or transfers of Air Force aircraft, including the 911th's C-130s and the KC-135 refueling stratotankers at the 171st Refueling Wing. 

The House Committee on Armed Services also released a defense-planning bill for 2013 that stops all C-130 aircraft retirements planned for the coming year. 

According to a statement from Murphy: 

"It's been an uphill battle to demonstrate the Air Force relied on inaccurate data and flawed assumptions to close down our regional bases. But we’re gaining more momentum each day, and now Congress has the opportunity to vote on legislation that will keep in Moon Township strong defense capabilities serving our entire nation and our soldiers overseas.”   

The Air Force the 911th for closure because of the age of its fleet of C-130 tactical aircraft, which were manufactured in the 1960s. The closure, which is set to take place in 2013, is a part of a plan to reduce the Air Force's 2013 spending by $8.7 billion. 

The closure will eliminate each of the base's 1,100 military and 280 civilian personnel positions. 

"I'm hopeful this development helps to send the same message about the value of the 911th to the Senate and the White House," Murphy said in a statement.

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