U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy already has been pressing the Air Force and Pentagon to reverse an administration decision to close the 911th Airlift Wing and reduce forces at the 171st Air National Guard station at Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon.
Today he brought his fight to the House Armed Services Committee, where his comments were well-received by Committee Chairman Buck McKeon, R-Calif. Mr. McKeon particularly agreed with Mr. Murphy’s assertion that the proposed cuts are the NFL equivalent of firing all the starters in order to save money.
The Air Force’s planned closure is part of a military realignment plan aimed at troop reductions and cost savings. Closing the 911th would save $354 million over five years, according to the Department of Defense, but Mr. Murphy and other Pennsylvania lawmakers say the analysis is flawed.
"The Air Force is making a quick and easy decision rather than an economical one," Mr. Murphy testified today.
He asked the Armed Services Committee to consider his bill preventing the Air Force from transferring any planes from the 911th until Congress reviews the matter. Additionally, he asked the committee to order a cost-benefit analysis that compares the two local bases with other installations that have similar missions.
"Decisions of this magnitude should be made in the best interst of the taxpayers and the military -- not because it's the easy option," Mr. Murphy said.