VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) — There’s been a long-standing partnership between the 910th Airlift Wing and Mahoning Valley Scrappers since the team’s inception in 1999. Wednesday, that partnership became official.
For more than 20 years, the Scrappers and 910th Airlift Wing have teamed up both on and off the field.
“They go out of their way to support the military, and we try to give back as well by presenting the flag for the National Anthem, providing singers and flyovers whenever the weather cooperates,” said Col. Jeff Van Dootingh Commander at 910th Airlift Wing.
But Wednesday, the partnership became official, signatures and all, in a different type of mission known as “Operation Fly Together.”
“We’re going to try to do our part to show the community all they do and have a fun promotion tied into it,” said Scrappers general manager Jordan Taylor.
The big kickoff will take place at the Scrappers game on August 6 where there will be specialty jerseys and hats that’ll be auctioned off for a military charity along with Merchandise that was unveiled Wednesday.
“Hey winger, take a look at this. Who’s that on that hat? Oh yea, alright, rock and roll,” said Master Sergeant Bob Barko Jr.
The goal is to raise awareness about the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, its mission, and its importance to the entire Mahoning Valley.
“We provide tactical airlift, so I think of getting supplies to the front lines, and we here have the only D.O.D. fixed-wing aerial spray capacity,” said Van Dootingh.
YARS is a base of about 1500 airmen, mostly reservists, plus employs about 400 people full time making it the number one employer in Trumbull County and third overall for the entire Mahoning Valley.
“I think the boost to the economy is definitely something we like to highlight, but we get a lot in return from the community. They are so supportive of us. We really couldn’t get our mission done without them,” said Van Dootingh.