WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – the co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Air Force Caucus – met with former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, President Trump’s nominee to serve as the Secretary of the Air Force and highlighted key priorities for Ohio Air Force bases. During the meeting, Brown highlighted the need to upgrade the C-130H planes flown at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS).

“The mission at YARS supports local jobs and keeps communities safe during emergencies and natural disasters,” said Brown. “The men and women at YARS deserve the most up-to-date fleet possible, and I will work with Dr. Wilson if confirmed to bring these planes to the Mahoning Valley.”

Last December, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced the inclusion of their amendment to prioritize the C-130 upgrades at YARS in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed into law by President Obama. The law will encourage the Air Force to act on these upgrades by requiring it to report on how it will prioritize upgrades from C-130H aircrafts to new C-130J units for wings that fly specialty missions, like the 910th at YARS.

In December 2015, Brown and Portman wrote a letter with U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Bill Johnson (R-OH-6), and Dave Joyce (R-OH-14) urging the United States Air Force to replace the 910th Airlift Wing’s current fleet of C-130H aircraft with new C-130J aircrafts to ensure that the 910th’s Department of Defense (DoD)-mandated specialized aerial spray mission continues safely and without interruption.