Obama’s Neglect Of Ohio’s Air National Guard Continues

- August 21, 2012

Today, Obama Will Land At Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base In Ohio, Which Would Lose More Than 200 Jobs Under Obama’s Budget. “The proposal also shows Rickenbacker Air National Guard base losing six of its 18 refueling aircraft and about 200 of its 1,150 jobs. That would have a big effect on the Ohio National Guard as well, Ashenhurst said, but wouldn’t lead to a base closure.” (Jeb Phillips, “Cuts To Ohio Air Guard Base Draw Fire,” The Columbus Dispatch, 3/20/12)

Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH): “The President Will Be Greeted By 200 Ohio Air National Guardsmen Whose Mission Is In Jeopardy Due To The President’s Arbitrary Budget Cuts.” “‘The president will be greeted by 200 Ohio Air National Guardsmen whose mission is in jeopardy due to the president’s arbitrary budget cuts,’ said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. ‘I hope in the past couple weeks he has taken the time to study his proposal to cut experienced Air National Guard units and realized that is not the most cost-effective solution. If he did, let’s hope he’ll tell us about a new secret plan to restore his cuts at Rickenbacker, too.’” (Joe Vardon, “GOP Again Criticiing Obama On Guard Cuts,” The Columbus Dispatch, 8/21/12)

This Isn’t The First Time Obama Has Flown Into Bases In Ohio That Have Been Threatened By His FY2013 Budget Cuts

Ohio Guardsmen Account For One-Fifth of All The President’s Proposed Reductions. “Ohio is disproportionately affected by these cuts, with Ohio Guardsmen accounting for one-fifth of all the President's proposed reductions. This includes jettisoning six KC-135 Stratotankers and about 200 positions at the 121st Air Refueling Wing at Rickenbacker in Columbus, as well as eliminating the C-27J and 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield along with its 800 Guardsmen.  The President's proposal was to eliminate these Air National Guard positions starting October 1, 2012. Portman and others succeeded in getting a one-year reprieve for the 121st as part of a larger freeze to Air Guard units nationally.” (Press Release, “President Obama To Columbus, Does That Mean He’ll Do Right By Rickenbacker?” Senator Rob Portman, 8/17/12)

Earlier This Month, Obama Flew Into Mansfield Air National Guard Base Where His Proposed Budget Cuts Would Jeopardize 551 Part-Time And 204 Full-Time Airmen’s Jobs. “President Barack Obama has cited an aircraft flown by the Mansfield Air National Guard Base as an example of ‘unnecessary’ defense programs and recommended it for termination… Elimination of the program would leave the 179th Airlift Wing without a flying mission. It could jeopardize the future of the unit, which has 551 part-time and 204 full-time airmen. The Mansfield base has two of its four C-27Js deployed in Afghanistan. It received the planes last summer, and was the first base in the country to deploy to Afghanistan with them.” (Bryan Bullock, “Mansfield Base's C-27js Called 'Unnecessary,'” The Mansfield News Journal, 2/14/12)

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Was Not Aware That Air Force One Landed At An Ohio Air Base That Obama Wants To Eliminate. REPORTER: “Can you talk a little bit about why the president is going back to the same area of Akron, Ohio tomorrow that he has visited before? And in Mansfield the local paper is reporting if President Obama has his way his Air Force One arrival would be one of the final flights into the Mansfield airport, because the president wants to do away with the mission for the 800 guardsmen at the Mansfield.” WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY Jay Carney: “I’ll have to take the question, I’m not aware of that particular issue. In terms of why is he going to Ohio and Akron –” REPORTER: “But that area of Ohio, Mansfield and Akron, I mean he was just there on the bus tour.” CARNEY: “There is not an inch of Ohio that the president does not love to visit. It’s a great state, my wife’s home state.” REPORTER: “In terms of Mansfield, can we get you to take that question?” CARNEY: “Sure. I’m not aware of even the policy implications or what issue this is.” (White House Press Briefing, 7/31/12)

  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH): Eliminating The C-27J Would Be Detrimental To The Mansfield Community.  “On Monday, I traveled to Mansfield to meet with the men and women of Ohio’s Air National Guard. While we do need to make some tough decisions on how to continue to meet our national security needs while reducing our deficit, the C-27J is more cost-efficient than other aircraft and it is a vital part of our military mission—and that’s why eliminating the C-27J would be detrimental to both our national security and the Mansfield community.” (Press Release, “Sens. Brown, Portman Organize Ohio Delegation Meeting With Air Force Secretary To Urge Preservation Of C-27J Program,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, 3/21/12)

Obama Also Flew Into Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base In March. “It’s not the first time this year Obama has flown into an Ohio base being threatened by budget cuts. In March, Obama flew into Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, which could lose some 200 jobs because of the loss of six KC-135s there. While Obama was there, Rep. Steve Austria, R-Beavercreek, handed him a letter protesting the cuts.” (Joe Hallett, “Obama Returns To Ohio, Still On The Attack,” The Columbus Dispatch, 8/1/12)

Other Bases In Ohio Are Threatened By Obama’s Budget Cuts

As Part Of Obama’s FY2013 Budget, The Youngstown Air Reserve Station Will Lost 97 Part-Time And 33 Full-Time Jobs. “The Youngstown Air Reserve Station will lose 97 part-time and 33 full-time positions in fiscal year 2013, part of the plan to cut $487 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years.” (Denise Dick, “Vienna Air Base To Lose 130 Positions, A 7% Cut,” Vindy, 3/8/12)

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base To Lose 452 Positions As Part Of A Cost-Cutting Reduction Of 10,000 Positions Across The Air Force. “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will lose 452 positions among active-duty and civilian ranks this year and next, part of a cost-cutting reduction of approximately 10,000 positions across the Air Force, defense officials said Tuesday. The 445th Airlift Wing, the unit at Wright-Patterson that flies C-17 transport aircraft for the Air Force, will see a net gain of 57 positions among weekend and full-time reservists, the Air Force said.” (John Nolan And Barrie Barber, “452 Positions To Be Cut At Wright-Patterson,” The Dayton Daily News, 3/6/12)

  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Has A $5 Billion Annual Economic Impact On The Region. “The association's more than 250 member companies, with a combined 10,000 employees, primarily serve Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Air Force's 27,000-employee logistics and acquisition center that has a $5 billion annual economic impact on the region.” (John Nolan, Barrie Barber, “Ohio Defense Industry Faces Layoffs If Congress Fails To Take Action,” Detroit News, 7/1/12)

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