The 179th Airlift Wing Hosts U.S Congressman

  • 8/21/2019 5:35:37 PM
  • WMFD Digital Team
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - Two members of the United States Congress, Troy Balderson and Mike Turner, visited the 179th Airlift Wing at Mansfield Lahm Airport on Wednesday to ensure the base has the funds necessary for continued improvements to an already top-notch facility.  

The airlift wing recently welcomed three new C-130H2 models to add their current C-130H (or Hercules) fleet, which feature upgraded propeller systems that help make the planes run efficiently. Base personnel hope to continue upgrading the rest of the fleet, as well as re-model several hangars and build a new fire station that will replace the old one, which was built in 1947. 

For the Mansfield Lahm Air Force Base, having politicians tour the facility is critical so that they can see and highlight what needs improved in order to secure the proper funding for maintenance and other projects around the base.

"What an opportunity to showcase the wing and all of our airmen the mission and what we do," said 179th Airlift Wing Commander Todd K. Thomas. "Some of the things the congressmen can effect is our transition from H1's to H2's."

Commander Thomas mentioned that the base just completed a roadmap of what projects will keep Mansfield Lahm Air Force Base going forward in 10 years, which included the addition of eight C-130 planes.

"(They make) a great contribution to our national security," said U.S Congressman Mike Turner, who represents Ohio's 10th Congressional District. "We're in a period of time where they're increased defense funding, and we need to ensure that it comes right here."

Turner then briefly mentioned some of the projects that they had seen during their tour of the base, which included many maintenance operations. 

"They have runway improvements that need to be done, hangar improvements that need to be done... even the planes that are here are scheduled and are currently in the process of being upgraded," said Turner. "Those are issues that, as long as we're aware of them, we can help work on and advocate in congress. We can be a partnership here with the base."

U.S Congressman Troy Balderson, who is the representative for Ohio's 12th District, talked about how the jobs of both Turner and himself is to make sure the 179th Airlift Wing remains a strong facility for Ohio. Balderson noted that everyone who has worked on the base has spoken about enjoying the time they spent at Mansfield Lahm Air Force Base, and that many who had started their career or transferred to the base early on later retired at the base, showing their appreciation for the base and its tight-knit operation.

"It's a fabulous facility and I'm honored to be able to serve here," Balderson said.

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