Ohio Lawmakers Concerned over Local Impacts of Aircraft Cuts
Ohio Sens. Sherrod Brown (D) and Rob Portman (R) are looking into the possibility of securing a follow-on mission for the 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield Air National Guard Base, after the Air Force announced last week it planned to retire its fleet of C-27J multipurpose cargo aircraft.
The move would eliminate the four C-27Js based at Mansfield and raise the prospect that the 179th would be eliminated.
“I think this would be a loss to the Air Force and our capability,” Portman said Tuesday, reported the Mansfield News Journal. “It’s also the loss of about 800 manpower positions if they dissolve the entire unit.”
The proposed force structure changes the Air Force announced Friday over the next five years would affect more than 60 installations with the most significant impacts to the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve.
The proposed change also would reduce aircraft at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus and Youngstown Air Reserve Station. Portman said he believes the Youngstown unit would remain operational, but the Columbus unit would face a reduction in manpower, according to the News Journal.