By WILLIAM K. ALCORN
The Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s 910th Airlift Wing is scheduled to lose four C-130 cargo planes and some 50 full-time and 150 part-time jobs in Fiscal Year 2014.
The 910th said Wednesday that two of its C-130 Hercules cargo transport aircraft, previously on loan to the C-130 training facility at Little Rock, Ark., were permanently transferred effective Oct. 1, which began Fiscal Year 2014.
Further, two more of the 910th’s C-130s are scheduled to be reassigned by March 31, 2014, bringing its complement of aircraft to eight.
As a result, the 910th will also lose about 50 full-time and 150 part-time positions associated with the reduction of the permanent aircraft inventory. The position reductions will take place throughout the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30, 2014, the 910th reported.
Colonel James Dignan, 910th and Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) commander, said that while the wing could not control changes to the Air Force structure; the unit would make every effort to keep its personnel informed about what the future could hold for them.
“We will do everything possible to let our citizen airmen and Department of Defense (DoD) civilians know what changes lie ahead and how they will be affected. We will assist in any way we can to make these transitions as painless as possible in these uncertain times,” Dignan said.
Also, Dignan said the 910th would do everything possible to keep people in the Mahoning Valley and beyond informed about the mission and capabilities the air wing and installation provide to the nation.
“We have a duty to the American people and Congress to keep them informed about how tax dollars are spent here. We have many assets unique to our installation and we will continue to spread the word about what the 910th and YARS provides to the national defense,” said Dignan.
U. S. Rep. Timothy Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said he is disappointed the Air Force has decided to move four C-130 planes out of YARS and troubled that local jobs will be lost.
“They have decided to move these planes regardless of the fact that YARS airmen have been doing an outstanding job and the base has the infrastructure to support additional planes and additional military and civilian jobs,” said Ryan, a member of the House Appropriations and House Budget committees.
“I am a long-time supporter of the 910th and YARS, not only for its work in defending this nation, but also its contribution to our local economy. The air station has a long and proud history in the Mahoning Valley and a unique capability as the DoD’s only fixed-wing aerial spray unit. I will continue to advocate that the DoD make long-term investments and increase the manpower at YARS to take full advantage of its capabilities,” Ryan said.
The Youngstown Air Reserve Station is a leader and an important part of Ohio’s rich aviation and aerospace history, said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
“That is why I am disappointed that YARS will lose two planes and about 200 full-time and part-time jobs. The men and women of the 910th Airlift Wing are talented enough and hardworking enough to take on more planes, not fewer,” the senator said.