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Senator Santorum in Pittsburgh to Set the Record Straight on Pennsylvania Military Bases and Deliver USDA Rural Development Funding in Fayette County

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Location: Pittsburgh, PA


Senator Santorum in Pittsburgh to Set the Record Straight on Pennsylvania Military Bases and Deliver USDA Rural Development Funding in Fayette County

U.S. Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today spoke in defense of Pennsylvania military installations following a Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Task Force briefing in Pittsburgh, and also delivered USDA Rural Development Funding to Fayette County.

"I have been working hard with Senator Specter, Governor Rendell and other members of the Pennsylvania delegation to keep open our military bases in Pennsylvania," said Senator Santorum. "It is important for the BRAC Commission to realize that there is information available that ought to be considered, and we are hopeful that this information will help overturn the recommendations facing western Pennsylvania installations."

U.S. Representatives Melissa Hart (R-PA- 04) and Tim Murphy (R-PA-18), as well as State Representative Mark Mustio (Allegheny County) joined Senator Santorum to present the case for keeping bases open in southwestern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, BRAC Commissioner, General Lloyd W. "Fig" Newton (USAF, Ret.) will be visiting the Pittsburgh International Air Reserve Station, which is home to the 911th Airlift Wing.

"Our primary goal today is to address the Department of Defense's recommendation to close the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, close the C.E. Kelly Support Facility, and realign the 99th Regional Readiness Command," said Senator Santorum.

DoD believes land constraints are preventing the 911th Airlift Wing from hosting more than 10 C-130 aircraft. However, land currently owned and leased by the 911th should permit the installation to host 13 C-130 aircraft. In addition, the Air Force currently has an agreement with the Pittsburgh International Airport for land that could host additional aircraft, bringing the total to twice DoD's estimate. Based on these new inputs, the military value of this base should be significantly higher than the assessment offered by DoD, and to close the installation without an accurate picture is unfair to the personnel serving at the 911th Airlift Wing.

In July, BRAC Commission Chairman Anthony J. Principi is expected to visit the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) at Willow Grove. On Friday, July 8 the BRAC Commission will hold its Regional Hearing in Baltimore, Maryland to further evaluate Pennsylvania Bases.

Senator Santorum was also in Republic, Fayette County today to deliver a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Business Enterprise Grant for $200,000 to the Fayette County Community Action Agency for renovations to the Republic Business Incubator Building.

"This funding will help to develop small businesses in Republic as well create and maintain jobs in Fayette County," said Senator Santorum. "It is crucial that we continue to support entrepreneurs, especially in rural Pennsylvania, who develop small businesses which create job opportunities and provide revenue for local economies."

http://santorum.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.View&ContentRecord_id=1274&Region_id=0&Issue_id=0&CFID=6802519&CFTOKEN=63480384

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