Sens. Portman, Brown still pushing for upgrades at Youngstown air base


By William K. Alcorn

alcorn@vindy.com

WASHINGTON, D.C.

United States Sen. Sherrod Brown, co-chairman of the Senate Air Force Caucus, Tuesday joined a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter calling on the U.S. Department of Defense to increase investment in C-130J planes.

Brown, a Cleveland-area Democrat, also continued to call for upgrades of C-130H flown by the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna Township; and for the Department of the Defense to abandon proposed cuts to the YARS program and instead invest in more C-130J planes as a long-term cost-saving measure.

The senators’ letter points to savings of more than 10 percent per aircraft over the course of the DOD’s procurement to invest in C-130J planes.

“By design, the C-130J provides significant operational and support savings, more operational capability per aircraft, lower life-cycle costs, common logistics and training support and improved active duty and air reserve component interoperability,” the senators wrote.

Last December, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman, a Cincinnati-area Republican, announced the inclusion of their amendment to prioritize the C-130 upgrades at YARS in the National Defense Authorization Act. Portman and Brown also urged the Air Force to replace the 910th’s fleet of C-130H aircraft with new C-130J aircraft to ensure that the 910th’s Department of Defense-mandated specialized aerial spray mission continues safely and without interruption.

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