A Pentagon working group charged with deciding whether the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon will keep its flying mission has accepted data submitted by Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, and the Military Affairs Coalition of Western Pennsylvania.
According to Murphy's office, the Congressman has submitted data and documentation about the 911th to Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Moeller, who is leading the Pentagon's analysis of the wing.
Moeller is expected to visit the base and conduct an assessment of its operations. A visit scheduled for January was postponed due to inclement weather.
The U.S. Air Force has again taken initial steps toward closing the airlift wing after March 2013—after the expiration of a law put in place to delay a closure.
Military officials said closing the 911th, which employs 1,100 military and 300 civilian personnel, would save $350 million. All personnel positions on the base would be eliminated under the proposed closure.
The information Murphy has provided to the Pentagon includes hundreds of pages and documents on base costs and operations, according to a statement from his office.
Murphy has touted the 911th cost-savings relationship with Pittsburgh International Airport, which shares runways with the air wing and provides services such as snow removal for an annual cost of $20,000.
Murphy said in a statement:
“We’ve made our case thoroughly to the Air Force, and I’m confident the Pentagon understands there are significant cost savings with operating the 911th at Pittsburgh. Other airlift bases without strong local support have expenses 200 times greater than the 911th. I am hopeful that the Air Force will consider these cost savings and keep the 911th open so we have the opportunity to prove to a BRAC commission how valuable the 911th is to national security. If there is a future BRAC process, the 911th should be part of it so we’re guaranteed a fair and impartial review.”