Defense bill good news for Ohio’s Air Guard

Aircraft at Rickenbacker, Mansfield bases get reprieve

WASHINGTON — A key Senate committee yesterday passed a defense bill that could stall an Obama administration plan to retire Air National Guard aircraft at Rickenbacker Airport and in Mansfield.

The Senate Armed Services Committee established a national commission to evaluate the best force structure for the Air Force.

By forming the commission, the Senate hopes to avoid or delay the retirement of aircraft including the C-27J, the KC-135 and the C-130.

President Barack Obama announced a plan earlier this year that would result in the retirement of six KC-135 refueling aircraft at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, as well as effectively end the flying mission at the Mansfield Air Guard Base.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a member of the Senate committee, worked to include the measure in the bill. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, also supported it.

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Defense bill good news for Ohio’s Air Guard »