MOON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — U.S. Congressman Tim Murphy and Pennsylvania Auditor Jack Wagner toured the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township Wednesday morning. The visit was an effort to discuss the bases’ efficiencies to eventually save it from closing.
“And the fly to fly time is the lowest in the 22nd Airwing and that’s extremely important,” Murphy said. “In other words, it costs less to have planes maintained here.”
He is skeptical of the Pentagon’s numbers.
“And it is clear to us that sound data is not coming through,” Murphy said.
Back in February, the Air Force targeted the 911th for closure in a plan to cut costs. Four months ago, Wagner asked for financial data from the Pentagon so an independent audit could be done.
“I have not received that data yet from them. They have told me it’s forthcoming. In the interim, I am getting data from Congressman Murphy and from the 911th itself. What I’ve seen so far, they are completely off course in terms of this proposal and they need to take a look and visit and see what we have seen,” Wagner says.
“We are not going to wait for a BRAC. The Secretary of Defense has said that he wants to have a BRAC Commission. He’s going to hold off now but he’s planning on moving forward with that in 2013. We want to beat them to this punch and say we want to get the data ahead of time. We don’t want to be reactive. We want to be proactive and this is why it’s so critically important to get the Auditor General to review this data now,” Murphy says.
Both politicians have sent a letter together to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to ask for the financial information. In the same effort, both men hope to go public with the requests to put further pressure on the Pentagon.