At the request of Pennsylvania lawmakers, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley toured the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township Thursday.
The Air Force announced plans earlier this year to shutter the Moon-based wing and lay off each of its more than 1,100 military and 280 civilian personnel positions as a part of an effort to reduce . The closing would retire each of the base's C-130 aircraft, which are among the tactical planes in the country.
No details were available on Donley's tour of the wing.
Reps. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, Bill Shuster, R-Hollidaysburg, and Mike Kelly, R-Butler, released a joint statement on Donley's visit.
“It’s an encouraging sign that Secretary Donley is personally visiting the 911th as a follow-up to all the high-level meetings, discussions, and legislation we’ve worked on to save the base. We’re confident that what he’ll take away from this visit is what thousands of Western Pennsylvania military families already know: that the 911th Airlift Wing is one of the most strategically-unique and cost-effective bases in the country.”
The U.S. House of Representatives in recent weeks passed a that would halt all pending Air Force aircraft transfers and keep the 911th open for at least another year. The legislation has moved to the Senate for consideration.
No closure date has been announced for the base.