WASHINGTON, D.C. — During a meeting at the White House today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) urged Vice President Biden to preserve the C-27J program, which is directly tied to roughly 800 jobs at the Mansfield Air National Guard Base in Richland County.
“I went to the White House today to underscore to Vice President Biden just how critical the C-27J program is to the health of the Air National Guard Base at Mansfield. The proposal to eliminate the C-27J program is wrongheaded: not only could it affect our national security and military readiness, but it could have a serious impact on the economy of north-central Ohio,” Brown said. “Eliminating the C-27J program would affect domestic relief efforts and shift Air Force operations to cargo planes that are more expensive to operate. Democratic and Republican members of the Ohio Congressional delegation are standing united in opposition to the proposed C-27J program. We must work together, as we have before, to save this vital base.”
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.
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.