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U.S. GOVERNMENT Ryan to get close look at base realignment



Published: Mon, February 7, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The committee was the lawmaker's first choice.

YOUNGSTOWN -- U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan has been appointed to the House Armed Services Committee's Readiness Subcommittee, which has oversight over the Base Realignment and Closure process.

Ryan, of Niles, D-17th, is working with officials at several levels of government to keep the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township off BRAC's list of bases to be closed.

The subcommittee was Ryan's first choice when members of the House Armed Services Committee met last week to bid on subcommittee slots.

The secretary of Defense will present a list of recommended base closures to the BRAC Commission on May 16.

Quotable

"The BRAC process is going to be extremely competitive," Ryan said. "This subcommittee assignment will allow me to closely monitor the BRAC process and will further help my efforts to effectively coordinate with local, state, and federal officials in trying to keep our base off the closure list."

Besides oversight over the base closing process, the Readiness Subcommittee is responsible for military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs. It is also responsible for all military construction, installations and family housing issues.

Ryan also was appointed to the House Armed Services Committee's Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee. That subcommittee is responsible for Army and Air Force acquisition programs, all Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs, National Guard and Army and Air Force Reserve modernization, and ammunition programs.

The 910th Airlift Wing, along with the Marine and Navy reserve units, is one of the area's five largest employers and contributed about $120 million into the local economy last year, Ryan noted. It provides the only full-time, fixed-wing aerial spray capability in the Department of Defense.

In addition, the base's reservists have contributed to several recent military operations, including Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"We have a good base, but good bases will still be closed. With that in mind, I intend to continue working as hard as possible to ensure that as a community we make the best possible case for keeping our air base," Ryan said.




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