U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, met late Monday night with Maj. Gen. Wesley Craig, the adjutant general of the Pennsylvania National Guard, to discuss the closing of the Moon-based 911th Airlift Wing and realignment of the neighboring 171st Refueling Wing.
Murphy said in a statement that Gen. Craig pledged to oppose the planned of the 911th and reduction of aircraft at the 171st.
Murphy, along with other members of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, has in recent weeks the closing of the 911th, which employs more than 1,300 military and 318 civilian personnel.
Air Force officials, citing the 911th's and a need for geographic balance, announced plans earlier this month to close the air unit as part of a nationwide effort to reduce federal defense spending.
The Air Force's strategic plan, which is estimated to save $8.7 billion in defense spending next year, makes more than two-thirds of its cuts from guard and reserve units, according to Murphy's office. The 911th is the only base in the country set to close under the plan.
Craig told Murphy that Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units are more cost-effective than their active-duty counterparts. Both the 911th and the 171st share runways with the Pittsburgh International Airport. The runways are maintained by the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
Murphy is slated to meet with military and community leaders Thursday to discuss efforts to prevent the closure.
In the meantime, personnel at the 911th will learn March 6 what the Air Force plans for them following the planned closure.