MANSFIELD, OH—Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) 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. At the Mansfield Air National Guard Base (ANGB), Brown, a native of Mansfield, was briefed by top Air National Guard officials, toured a hanger and a C-27J, and outlined his opposition to the Air Force’s proposal to cut the C-27J program, a move that could lead to the loss of roughly 800 jobs at the ANGB.
“We need to make some tough decisions on how to continue to meet our national security needs while reducing our deficit. But as we’ve heard today, the C27J is more cost-efficient than other aircraft and it is a vital part of our military mission. That’s why the proposal to eliminate the C-27J program is wrongheaded,” Brown said. “The proposal to end the C-27J procurement must go through Congress. That is why I’m pleased Senator Portman and Representatives Jordan, Gibbs, and Tiberi are here today. This is a bipartisan, all-hands-on deck mission to save the base. We’ve done this before as a community, and we can do it again.”
Brown has consistently stood against the proposals to eliminate the C-27J program, which would affect hundreds of National Guard positions in Mansfield. In January, Brown urged President Obama to reject proposals to eliminate the C-27J program. In December, Brown 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.