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Wagner to Audit Moon Township's 911th Airlift Wing

Rep. Tim Murphy and Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner call for the Air Force to be more transparent in potential closure of Moon Township air base.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner hopes to audit the 911th Airlift Wing in an effort to save the Moon Township base from a potential closure in the coming years. 

Wagner and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, will spearhead an audit of the 911th and present its findings to Air Force officials to stave off another closure attempt, the pair announced on Wednesday. 

The two sent a joint letter to U.S. Defense Department Secretary Leon Panetta and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley, outlining the air wing's efficiencies and requesting additional data used in the Air Force's decision earlier this year to close the base. 

The Air Force planned to shut down the 911th this year as a cost-cutting measure, eliminating each of its more than 1,100 military and 300 civilian positions and retiring its fleet of eight C-130 tactical aircraft.

After months of outcry from local and state officials, Panetta issued a directive to , but the wing's future remains uncertain. 

Murphy and Wagner, who spoke to reporters on Airside Drive in Moon, said plans are underway to prevent upcoming closures of the base. 

Wagner said he has requested additional data on the wing in order to perform an audit of its operations, but has not yet received his requested information. 

Murphy and Wagner said with the audit they hope to counter what they described as incomplete and faulty data used to make the initial decision to close the base. 

"How can they propose closing a base that is the efficient?" he said.

Despite holding a statewide office, Wagner said he is within his jurisdiction in conducting the audit. 

"I'm still a citizen, a veteran, and I hold a statewide office," Wagner said. "And I have every right to that (federal) information." 

Murphy said the Air Force's rational behind plans to close the 911th was "weak and incomplete." 

"They made the quick decision instead of the right decision," he said. 

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