WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKBN) – Ohio representatives continue to push for an upgrade at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.
Congressmen Tim Ryan, Bill Johnson and Dave Joyce, along with Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, sent a letter to the United States Air Force urging the replacement of the 910th Airlift Wing’s C-130 H aircraft. They want the planes upgraded to a C-130 J aircraft so the base can continue its specialized aerial spray missions.
“The Youngstown Air Reserve Station has become a model for other Air Reserve Stations throughout the country, but if we want to maintain this level of high performance, we must upgrade the aircraft at the base,” Portman stated. “I am proud of my strong record of support for C-130 modernization and will continue to work to ensure they have the capabilities needed to carry out their critically important operations.”
“Bringing in C-130Js to modernize the C-130 fleet at YARS will help strengthen our lines of defense and maintain jobs in Mahoning County,” said Brown. “This fleet carries out critical emergency missions and keeps our nation secure. It’s time to replace these aircraft to meet the unique mission at YARS.”
According to the letter sent to Lt. Gen. Jackson on Monday, the current number of eight C-130H aircraft “jeopardizes the 910th’s capability to effectively complete overseas tactical airlift missions and domestic aerial spray operations simultaneously.” The representatives wrote that if the 910th were asked to deploy four aircraft overseas, they would only be able to support a one-ship spray mission in the U.S.
Within the last decade, the 910th deployed a three C-130H aircraft package in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and again in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010 to provide domestic emergency aerial spray capability, according to the letter.
The representatives also say that the airplanes are aging and require more maintenance due to wear and tear.