Youngstown air base to lose 773rd squadron

By William K. Alcorn


The loss of C-130 cargo planes and some 50 full-time and 150 part-time job positions at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in fiscal 2014 has led to the elimination of the 910th Airlift Wing’s 773rd Airlift Squadron.

The positions being lost may not translate to an equal loss of personnel, however, said Robert Barko Jr., Air Force Reserve master sergeant and superintendent of the 910th public affairs office.

Barko said Air Force Reserve Command has ordered a 10 percent increase in strength, which means some of the personnel who had the eliminated positions may get other positions at YARS or at other Department of Defense facilities.

It is not known when the 773rd will be decommissioned, he added.

The mission of the 773rd — airlifts and air drops — will be taken over by the 757th Airlift Squadron, which has the only fixed-wing aerial spray mission in the Defense Department, Barko said.

He said six of the eight remaining C-130s in the YARS inventory that will be left after two planes leave by March 31 have spray capability.

Also, Barko said that in fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1, YARS is supposed to be assigned a backup aircraft. He said, however, no money or personnel are associated with the plane.

The recent downsizing of the YARS complement of C-130 Hercules cargo/transport aircraft and job positions began when two of planes, previously on loan to the C-130 training facility at Little Rock, Ark., were permanently transferred to Little Rock effective Oct. 1, 2013, the beginning of fiscal year 2014.

Two more of the 910th’s C-130s are to be assigned by March 31, bringing its aircraft complement to eight.

The position reductions will take place throughout this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, the 910th reported last year.

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