The state Senate has unanimously approved a resolution marking the 50th anniversary of the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon.
State Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, sponsored the resolution, addressing his colleagues on the Senate floor about the role of the 911th Airlift Wing and the effort by state and federal officials to preserve its operations.
"This base is an important asset to our regional and national military security and plays a role as an economic driver for the region," Mr. Smith said in a news release.
The wing employs about 1,220 Air Force Reserve members and 320 civilians on a site less than 2 miles from Pittsburgh International Airport.
Col. Craig C. Peters, 911th Airlift Wing commander, commented on the anniversary and the resolution: "... in the spirit of maintaining independence, the 911th has been there to answer the call both domestically and globally for the past 50 years. Our strategic importance to the region, coupled with our ability to consistently deliver effective forces overseas, has uniquely positioned us to carry on the charge our forefathers handed us 237 years ago.
"While we enjoy time off to celebrate this Fourth of July, we must not forget our airmen who are deployed and in harm's way. This is the type of sacrifice that has strengthened our nation and solidified our unit as one of the premier airlift wings throughout the last half century," Col. Peters said.
"Having visited the 911th Airlift Wing on multiple occasions and met with the commander and reservists, I can personally attest to the professionalism and heroism they display on a daily basis," Mr. Smith said.
"What I found most encouraging is the 911th commitment to achieving efficiencies and collaborating with other military branches and divisions of law enforcement to most effectively meet the security needs of the 21st century," he said.
In January 1963, the facility began as the 911th Troop Carrier Group.
In 1980, the base began flying the C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft it still flies.
In 1994, the base received its current redesignation as the 911th Airlift Wing.
The history of service includes reservist air crews and support personnel who were activated or volunteered for missions for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, relief efforts following Hurricane Andrew, humanitarian relief flights in Bosnia and emergency response activities following the crash of USAir Flight 427.
In support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 911th Airlift Wing pilots, navigators, engineers and loadmasters moved approximately 3,000 passengers and 700 tons of cargo per month.
"Through sharing of services with Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh International Airport and other military installations in the area, the 911th is truly a model in cooperation," Mr. Smith said.
Linda Wilson Fuoco: email@example.com or 412-722-0087.