In response to the U.S. Air Force’s announcement to assign the C-130H Hercules mission to the Mansfield-based 179th Airlift Wing, State Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Ontario) has released the following statement:

“I’m very pleased to know that the 179th Airlift Wing is moving from a position of potential cutbacks to one of a new mission with an increase in personnel. The 179th has proudly represented the city of Mansfield and all of Richland County for many years, and the fielding of the C-130H Hercules aircraft highlights this region’s commitment to not only the Air Force, but the United States.

“The airmen of the 179th Airlift Wing should be very proud of the work they have done with the C-27Js. I have no doubt that they will continue to make us proud as they move forward with the eight C-130Hs that will soon call Mansfield home. The announcement by the Secretary of the Air Force is welcome news that gives all of us reason to celebrate.”

Under aviation force structure changes in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the four C-27J Spartan aircraft currently at the 179th will be divested from the base, while eight C-130H Hercules aircraft will be fielded there. Personnel strength at the 179th Airlift Wing will increase from 650 to 830 total airmen.

The first of the C-130H aircraft are scheduled to arrive in Mansfield by September, with the final aircraft scheduled to arrive by June 2016.

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