Brown Applauds 179th Airlift Wing For Winning Three Awards From The National Guard Association Of The United States, Calls For Preservation Of C-27J Flying Mission

Wing, Based in Mansfield, Receives the Spaatz Trophy, the NGB Curtis N. “Rusty” Metcalf Trophy, and the Major General John J. Pesch Flight Safety Trophy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio National Guard, based in Mansfield, has won three awards from the National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS). U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today applauded the 179th for receiving the trophies, which include the Spaatz Trophy, the NGB Curtis N. “Rusty” Metcalf Trophy, and the Major General John J. Pesch Flight Safety Trophy.

“The Mansfield community has long known that the 179th Airlift Wing has maintained the highest standards of professionalism, service, and safety, and I am thrilled to see this Ohio National Guard wing’s work recognized by the National Guard Association of the United States,” Brown said. “The 179th’s recognition by NGAUS is further evidence that slashing the C-27J program—which is essential to the Wing—would be an enormous mistake and detrimental to our national security.”

The Spaatz Trophy recognizes the most outstanding squadron in each existing Air Guard Wing, while the NGB Curtis N. “Rusty” Metcalf Trophy is awarded to the airlift or air refueling unit that demonstrates the highest standards of mission accomplishment. The Major General John J. Pesch Flight Safety Trophy recognizes units with an exceptional commitment to flight safety.

Brown has consistently stood against the proposals to eliminate the C-27J program, which would affect hundreds of National Guard positions in Mansfield. In March, he visited the Mansfield Air National Guard to stand with the Ohio Air National Guard and the greater Mansfield community in opposition to the proposed elimination of the C-27J program, and convened a meeting between Members of the Ohio Congressional delegation and Air Force Secretary Michael Donley. The Senate Armed Services Committee recently passed legislation that would preserve the C-27J program for at least an additional year.

In January, Brown urged President Obama to reject proposals to eliminate the C-27J program, and in December, wrote to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, urging him to delay a decision on the future of the C-27J program until Panetta meets with all relevant stakeholders and fully considers the ramifications of ending the C-27J procurement.

Brown visited the base in October 2011 to tour the new Armed Forces Reserve Center and Rapid Engineers Deployable Heavy Operations Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) facility. He also visited the base in August 2010 to celebrate a new mission for the 179th Airlift Wing. The 179th Airlift Wing recently became a Joint Air-Army base with the addition of the Army Ohio National Guard's new fire station in May 2010.

In 2005, the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) recommended that the 179th Airlift Wing be dismantled.  The base’s service record, along with actions taken by the Ohio Congressional delegation, kept the base open and transformed it into a joint base. Brown has worked with the White House, Administration officials and Air Force and National Guard personnel to secure the new mission for the Mansfield ANGB.     

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