Governor Tom Corbett praised the federal government's announcement this morning that they will keep open the 911th Airlift Wing in Allegheny County.
"This is a great day for western Pennsylvania, but it's a particularly great day for the men and women of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve and their families,'' Corbett said.
The 911th base, adjacent to the Pittsburgh International Airport, had been
scheduled for closure when Corbett visited it last December.
"I am glad the federal government understands the major role the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 911th Airlift Wing, as well as the 171st Air Refueling Wing and the 258th Air Traffic Control Squadron of the Pennsylvania Air Guard, plays in the defense of this country,'' Corbett said. "I say that as a former Guardsman myself. That's one of the reasons I pushed so hard to keep this base open.''
Corbett, along with Maj. Gen. Wesley E. Craig, the adjutant general, had urged defense department officials to reverse their earlier decision and keep the 911th Airlift Wing open, citing its outstanding record of performance, efficiency and effectiveness.
"From Korea to Kandahar, the 911th Airlift Wing has been an essential component in our nation's military readiness, as well as a part of the social and economic fabric of western Pennsylvania. I am gratified to see that Washington has recognized the 911th's pivotal role in keeping our nation secure in a volatile world,'' Corbett said.
"The Air Force's decision to keep the 911th Airlift Wing intact is a big victory for Pennsylvania," Craig said today. "I'm grateful that they have recognized the cost-effectiveness of this Air Force Reserve asset as well as Pittsburgh's strategic location for supporting domestic operations.
Today's decision keeps open the U.S. Air Force Reserve's 911th Airlift Wing, as well as maintaining the 171st Air Refueling Wing at full strength and the 258 Air Traffic Control Squadron of Pennsylvania Air National Guard.
"Although work remains to be done to secure its long-term future, I remain hopeful that the 911th will continue to serve their country for years to come," Craig said.
For more information, visit www.pa.gov.