(WKBN) – The Senate’s latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $8.7 million for runway improvements at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS).
The funding would be used to widen a runway there to allow for the training landings of C-17 and C-130 pilots, according to Sen. Rob Portman.
Portman says the update would improve military readiness at the base in Vienna as well as strengthen its strategic viability.
He said he discussed the need for a runway expansion with base leaders during a visit in June and advocated for this project as part of the Senate’s NDAA process.
“Currently, due to scheduling delays, clogged runways, and increased costs due to the required additional fuel consumption, YARS aircraft and crews must travel to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina to perform required training landings. This funding will widen the assault runway located at YARS and allow our YARS servicemen and women to conduct this vital training in the Mahoning Valley. As the largest employer in Trumbull County, YARS has had a significant economic impact on the region, deployed its resources to those in need across the globe, and defended the values we hold dearest as Americans, and I’m proud this funding to support the base’s operations is included in the Senate’s annual defense bill.”
Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber President and CEO Guy Coviello issued the following statement on Portman’s announcement:
“Senator Portman and the rest of the Valley’s Congressional delegation have been outstanding in helping to increase the economic output at YARS by more than 50% in a short amount of time. This will help the installation’s impact grow beyond its current $137 million annually.
“This is a testament to the value of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission and its Director, Vito Abruzzino, who has been the strongest advocate in the community for YARS. The Ohio legislature and DeWine administration were wise to keep investing in EOMAC.”