As Senate Considers Defense Bill, Brown Works to Modernize C-130H Fleet and Support Jobs at Youngstown Air Reserve Station

At Brown's Urging, Defense Authorizers Proposed $9.4 Million for Training Facility Improvements at YARS

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sen. Brown is working again to modernize the Air Force’s C-130H fleet and support jobs at Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS). To meet federal and international standards, the Air Force must modernize its C-130H fleet by 2020.

“Modernizing the Air Force’s C-130H fleet will support jobs in Mahoning County and give the men and women at Youngstown Air Reserve Station the opportunity to continue their important work,” said Brown. “Ohio’s air men and women carry out missions that provide emergency response support and humanitarian aid. I’ll keep advocating for this modernization so these critical missions can continue.”

Brown co-sponsored an amendment offered by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) that would support jobs at Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) by calling on the Air Force to coordinate with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to meet safety and compliance regulations by the 2020 deadline. This amendment builds on legislation that Brown co-sponsored last Congress, the Air Force C-130H Fleet Modernization Act.

The C-130H fleet is the U.S. military’s primary tactical logistics aircraft fleet, and has provided humanitarian assistance, precision airdrop, and tactical airlift missions across the globe for more than four decades. Because of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and international airspace regulatory constraints, the fleet will be largely inoperable unless major communication, navigation, and surveillance upgrades are made by 2020.

Last month, the Senate Armed Services Committee authorized $9.4.million for YARS in its proposed authorization bill. The funding – which Brown urged the Committee to support – would help make improvements to the indoor firing range facility. The range is used to train and test airmen for qualifications with their service weapons for personal protection and ground base defense. The current range is 30 years old and fails to meet current safety requirements. The Committee’s support of this request will correct this serious deficiency and improve the training that occurs at YARS.