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Approximately 2,000 people work at the The Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, including 1,600 reservists and 400 full-time civilian employees. Cuts are coming for employees as part of sequestration, from planes to personnel.
Col. James Dignan, commander of the 910th Airlift Wing, spoke about the cuts during a television interview on Tuesday. He said the reserve station has 12 planes currently and it is going down to 10. He also said the station will lose some full-time civilian employees and some reservists.
Dignan said the future of about 50 civilian employees and up to 120 reservists is up in the air.
Talk of downsizing doesn’t sit well with Director of Aviation for the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, Dan Dickten, who said the air station is its best tenant.
“We would not be happy about any downsizing of the air base here. We would like to see more air craft here,” Dickten said.
Sources at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station said the cuts could be even deeper, with the station potentially dropping to eight planes and losing even more employees and reservists. However, that has not been finalized.
But Congressman Tim Ryan, D-Niles, said there’s still fiscal viability with the station.
“This base brings a lot of value to the Air Force and a lot of value to the military and we’re going to work very hard to not only keep the base here, and keep it up and running but also try to expand it as we move forward as a place where you can consolidate because the facilities are new and the location is good,” Ryan said.
Ryan said the air station isn’t immune from cuts and Washington needs to sit down and compromise.
“We’ve made significant cuts to the Defense Department, made significant cuts overall, but now this is a meat cleaver when you need a scalpel when you’re talking about these kinds of programs,” he said.
Col. Dignan said he’s waiting for word from the Air Force to see how cuts will come down.