Federal leaders hearing from residents about military cuts

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Federal leaders hearing from residents about military cuts

Bucyrus Telegraph Forum – North central Ohio’s representatives in Congress have reported an uptick in phone calls and emails about proposed defense cuts that would impact the Mansfield Air National Guard Base.

Local business leaders announced a letter writing campaign Monday as part of a new grassroots effort to help the base avoid losing its C-27J aircraft program and more than 750 jobs at the 179th Airlift Wing.

John Brown, chairman of the Richland Community Development Group (RCDG), said Tuesday he hopes residents continue calling, emailing and writing their elected officials in Washington, D.C. about the issue.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, wrote a letter Tuesday to the leader of the Air Force advocating for the C-27J program and, if it is eliminated, a replacement mission for the Mansfield base.

“I believe the president’s budget proposal calling for the elimination of the C-27J program is both shortsighted and counterproductive,” read Brown’s letter to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley. “The C-27J’s comparatively low operating cost and critical supply and operating functions cannot be replicated by other older aircraft.”

Brown’s office is working to arrange a meeting between Donley and the entire Ohio Congressional delegation, said spokeswoman Allison Preiss.

“We’ve gotten a significant number of letters and phone calls from constituents who are concerned about the 179th,” Preiss said.

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