PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The fate of the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township could be announced on Wednesday, members of Congress tell KDKA.
“The generals who have been studying this issue for the past few months and reviewing the data will be meeting with the Pennsylvania delegation,” says U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, an Upper St. Clair Republican.
That meeting — hosted by Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in his Capitol Hill office — will include U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey and local congressmen, including U.S. Reps. Murphy and Mike Doyle, a Forest Hills Democrat.
“We’ve all been working together,” Doyle told KDKA political editor Jon Delano, “and the common goal is to keep the men and women working at the 911th — to keep that important base in western Pennsylvania so that those people can continue to serve.”
Local leaders have been fighting a planned closure of the base, arguing that the Air Force missed important data that has now been supplied to the military.
“We are hopeful, based on information that we provided, that this will be a favorable decision, and that there will be a mission for the 911th going into the future,” notes Doyle.
One key decision point is the future of some 32 C-170s that advocates for the base say should be maintained, along with other aircrafts, at this base.
Casey — who convenes the Wednesday meeting — has also sent a letter to the new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, whom Casey supported, inviting him to visit the 911th.
Murphy says he’s optimistic because local officials proved the 911th saved the military money.
“We demonstrated pretty clearly that the 911th base, the way it’s set up with PIT airport, probably saves them $100 million over ten years, if not more,” adds Murphy.