PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Sen. Bob Casey continues to fight to protect the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township.

It’s become almost an annual ritual — the rite of saving the 911th base year after year.

“We’ve gotten used to the drill of going back and keep making the arguments,” said Sen. Casey.

First, the threat came from the Base Closure and Realignment Commission, or BRAC. Then, last year, it was the Department of Defense itself that tried to cut the 911th until members of Congress intervened.

This year, it’s something called the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, an independent, congressionally-authorized, eight-member commission charged with recommending a new force structure for the Air Force that could impact the 911th.

“That commission will be making recommendations to the president in the next few weeks,” said Sen. Casey.

So, on Thursday, Sen. Casey released a letter to the commission that reiterates why it makes both strategic and economic sense to maintain the 911th base.

Sen. Casey specifically cited savings to the Air Force delivered by the 911th Airlift Wing Innovative Maintenance program.

“Resulting in thousands more aircraft availability days and yielding an estimated cost savings of $84 million since 2006,” Sen. Casey said.

The commission is expected to issue its report to the president by Feb. 1.

“No matter what the commission does, I want people to know, we’ll stay on this,” added Sen. Casey. “There’s still going to be a lot of work to do after this, no matter what determination they make.”

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