VIENNA TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – The Valley is apparently a big step closer to landing a “wing” of new planes for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.
Congressman Tim Ryan n spoke with reporters on a Zoom call along with Colonel Jeff Van Dootingh, the airbase Commander.
Ryan says almost $430 million is earmarked for four new C-130J model aircraft.
It’s part of a new defense appropriations bill.
Colonel Van Dootingh says the base one of several now being studied by Air Force Command to house the new aircraft.
“To re-capitalized with a newer aircraft that’s more capable just makes the mission safer, number one, for our airmen. It makes us more capable so we can — it just gives us additional capability that we can help out fellow Americans in times of natural disaster,” Colonel Van Dootingh said.
Ryan says the new aircraft, along with planned improvements to a runway, would solidify the local mission.
“Those in combination, really, will make Youngstown Air Reserve Station one of the premier training facilities in the entire region, so we’re super excited about this. This really establishes YARS’ long-term viability,” Ryan said.
The measure was recently approved in committee. It still needs to be passed by the full House and Senate.
Ryan says the Air Force Reserve had been waiting for the additional funding before conducting a study on just where to place the aircraft.
He also says Youngstown is among the top two contenders to be given newer planes, and he hopes a final decision can be made late this summer.