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Murphy Introduces Legislation to Save 911th Aircraft

Officials said they hope the legislation will keep the base open.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-18, introduced legislation today to block the Air Force from relocating C-130 aircraft at the .

If passed the bill would prevent the Pentagon from closing the base by requiring the Air Force to keep its fleet of aircraft in operation. Murphy is scheduled to meet with Air Force officials at 1 a.m. tomorrow in Washington D.C. to discuss the planned closure of the Moon-based station.

“Congressional intervention is needed to stop the Air Force from making a hasty and unwise decision," Rep. Murphy said in a statement. "The 911th is one of the most cost-effective bases in our military. I’m putting down a legislative marker that stops the closure and ensures there’s a deliberate review of the Air Force realignment.

“The Air Force may not be in compliance with existing law that requires congressional approval to close any base with more than 300 civilian personnel."

Original cosponsors of the legislation include Reps. Jason Altmire (PA-4), Mike Doyle (PA-14) and Mark Critz (PA-12).

A .pdf of the legislation is attached to the right.

Here text from the legislation:

SECTION 1. PROHIBITION ON RELOCATION OF C-130 AIRCRAFT.

The Secretary of the Air Force—

(1) may not plan or execute the permanent relocation of any C-130 aircraft assigned to Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station as of the date of the enactment of this Act; and

(2) shall ensure that the number of C-130 aircraft assigned to Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station as of September 30, 2012, equals or exceeds the number of C-130 aircraft assigned to Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station as of October 1, 2011.

The Air Force announced the closure of the base last week as a part of an $8.7 billion military restructuring plan, which coincides with the winding down of U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plan also calls for the retirement of seven KC-135 tanker refueling planes at the neighboring 171st Refueling Wing in Moon. Several other bases around the country have been targeted for re-alignment, but the 911th is the only one slated to close.

The 911th employs 1,300 military reservists and 318 civilians. No plans have been announced for what will happen to that personnel if the closure is finalized.

Check back with Patch for more.

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