Congressman Bob Gibbs

Representing the 7th District of Ohio

After Proposing to Cut Over 800 Air National Guard Jobs in Mansfield, Obama Will Land on Base

July 31, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Obama is scheduled to arrive at Mansfield-Lahm Airport, home of the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard Wednesday morning, where he has plans to cancel a C-27J program and leave the base without a flying mission. 

The Obama Administration’s plan to cancel the C-27J cargo aircraft program would eliminate over 800 local jobs and force the American taxpayer to pick up the tab for 21 brand new aircraft, four of which are based in Mansfield.

Removal of the program would result in reverting back to the use of the older C-130 aircraft, which are more expensive to operate and less versatile than the C-27J.  The critical role that the C-27J plays in our national security was demonstrated this year when the 179th Airlift Wing deployed two C-27J aircraft to Afghanistan, proving itself as a valuable asset by providing support to the U.S. Army.

When asked earlier today, the White House was oblivious to the fact the President’s own plan could shut down the airport and eliminate 800 local jobs in Mansfield. At this morning’s Daily White House Briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was asked to comment on Obama’s plan, and replied, “I’m not aware of the policy implications or what issue you’re discussing.”

Congressman Gibbs released the following statement on President Obama’s scheduled visit to Mansfield:

“If the C-27J program is cut, more than 800 local jobs will be eliminated right here in Mansfield.  What is even worse is the White House so out of touch with the American people they don’t even realize the impact of this devastating plan.

“It is my sincere hope that when President Obama flies into the home of the 179th Airlift Wing this week, he will realize the vital role the C-27J program plays not only in the Mansfield community, but also nationally.  The servicemen and women of the 179th have been key to our nation’s security efforts for over 60 years, and removal of this program would be a disservice to this country’s national defense. 

“Having voted twice to preserve the C-27J program, I will continue to work to oppose the Obama Administration’s short-sighted plan to eliminate 800 jobs and weaken our homeland security response capability.  The Ohio Air National Guard’s superior record of achievement should be recognized, not threatened.”

To view video of the White House Daily Briefing, click here.