WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to require the Department of Defense (DOD) to provide Congress with a report on the cost and benefits of maintaining a specific number of primary aircraft for each type of Air Force squadron, particularly those that fly specialty missions flown by the Air Force Reserve units, like the 910th at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS).

This comes after Congress made key investments in 2019 for our national security, which were cut by President Trump as he continued to raid DOD funds to pay for his border wall. In February, the administration stripped funding from the C-130J aircraft for the Air Force Reserve. Sens. Brown and Portman wrote to the administration about this.

The report should help illustrate the need to increase the number of primary aircraft at YARS and increase funding for C-130 aircraft.  

“The 910th flies critical missions that support our national security needs here and abroad. We need to make sure that Youngstown Air Reserve Station has the appropriate number of primary aircraft to carry out its specialty aerial spray mission,” said Brown. “This study will push the Air Force to ensure that each squadron is appropriately resourced.”

“YARS, which employs 1800 Ohioans and is the largest employer in the Mahoning Valley, plays an important role in the economy of the region,” said Portman. “More importantly, it has deployed its resources to those in need across the globe, and defended the values we hold dearest as Americans. As the home of the 910th Airlift Wing Division, which maintains the only large area fixed-wing aerial spray capable fleet in the country, it must always have the quantity and quality of aircraft needed to respond to major disasters like oil fires, disease-carrying insect plagues, and invasive vegetation spread. That's why I'm pleased to introduce this amendment requiring a study to ensure the squadrons of the 910th have the aircraft needed to carry out their important mission. I will continue to support Ohio's military installations so that they have the resources they need to keep us safe.”

In 2018, Brown and Portman fought to secure in a year-end spending package $8.8 million for improvements at YARS, namely an upgrade to ensure its main gate met safety requirements.