At the urging of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Congressman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), the Obama administration today recommended establishing an Air Force squadron of C-17s at the Pittsburgh IAP Air Reserve Station - the home of the 911th Airlift Wing. The president's budget, released this morning, includes plans to move eight C-17 aircraft to Pittsburgh to replace eight of the aging C-130s over the next several years.
In a letter to Secretary of the Air Force Deborah L. James last month, a bipartisan group of Pennsylvania legislators, led by Sen. Toomey and Rep. Murphy, laid out the strategic and cost-effective benefits of establishing the squadron at the 911th Airlift Wing.
"This is great news. I am pleased President Obama agrees with us that the Steel City is the best choice to base additional C-17s," said Sen. Toomey. "For years, the Pittsburgh International Airport has been recognized as one of the most cost-effective and efficient locations for assigned military units. Pittsburgh is proud of its military history and would be the ideal host for such a squadron. This new mission, with strategic assets such as the C-17, will continue to strengthen Air Force ties to Pittsburgh for years to come."
"This is a tremendous win for the Pittsburgh region and greater Western Pennsylvania. Knowing the strategic value of the 911th Airlift Wing and its nationally recognized commitment to excellence, I was confident the President would advance our request to move the C-17 squadron here," said Rep. Murphy. "The real credit for this move goes to the reservists, civilian employees, and leadership at the Pittsburgh IAP Reserve Station for a job well done in making the 911th the most efficient, skilled and mission-ready airlift unit in the country."