Casey: Military may cut 911th engineer squad, but planes safe

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With the U.S. government considering shrinking the military to its smallest size in more than 70 years, a Pennsylvania senator called an Air Force decision to keep eight C-130 transport planes in Moon a "major victory."

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said in a news release today that the Air Force had opted to keep the planes at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station, home of the 911th Airlift Wing. Funding for those aircraft will stay in the Air Force's budget through fiscal year 2015.

However, the Air Force is looking to inactivate the 911th Civil Engineer Squadron, which would cost about 82 positions, the senator's office said.

"This is just part of the broad-based cuts that are going on in the military across the nation," said John Rizzo, a spokesman for Mr. Casey.

Those cuts include 59 reservists, 22 civilians and one full time position. "I’m disappointed in the Air Force’s announcement on the civil engineer squadron but I will work to oppose this during the budget process and continue to work to ensure that the Pennsylvanians who want to serve in or work for the Air Force Reserve have the opportunity to do so,” Mr. Casey said in a statement.

A spokesman for the 911th Airlift Wing could not immediately be reached.

The Associated Press contributed. Robert Zullo: 412-263-3909. Twitter: @rczullo.

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