Future of 911th Airlift Wing to be Announced Wednesday, Murphy Hopeful

Mar 11, 2013

The future of the 911th Airlif Wing will be announced Wednsday, Congressman Tim Murphy is hopeful it will remain open.
Credit Deanna Garcia/90.5 WESA News

According to Congressman Tim Murphy (R-18) the Air Force will announce Wednesday whether or not the 911th Airlift Wing will be closed. The 911th in Moon Township was slated for closure by September 2013. The Air Force said the move would save $354 million over five years but supporters have said from the beginning that the numbers used to determine the savings were faulty.

“I think that the facts that we gave them about the cost, the economics, are positive. I know I could see a mood change on how they approached this once General Moeller came on board. Before, they were not looking at the data on how much that base saved. We were able to demonstrate for them that base may actually save the Air Force $100 million over ten years,” said Congressman Tim Murphy, who’s been working to save the 911th.

A Pentagon working group has been studying the 911th, led by Air Force Lt. General Michael Moeller. Murphy said a final decision has been made, and has been signed off on by the secretary of the Air Force and the new Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

“My hope is on Wednesday that we’ll hear that the base is going to remain open,” said Murphy, “then I want to move onto the next level and push to get more active duty Air Force here as well. At a time when we’re looking for cost savings for this nation, for the Pentagon, Pittsburgh is the best idea out there.”

Murphy said Air Force officials will sit down with the Pennsylvania delegation on Wednesday to announce their final decision.

The Air Force said the seven C-130 refueling planes at the 911th are among the oldest in the fleet. Supporters of the 911th say the base works much more efficiently than other bases with newer planes. Murphy said the closing would affect about 2,500 people who work at the Airlift Wing.