Tribune Review: Lawmaker, auditor general continue to beat drum to save Moon air baseWednesday, August 22, 2012
Auditor General Jack Wagner said Wednesday he is gathering information to perform an informal audit of the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon to show that the base should stay open. U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy requested the audit.
The two politicians toured the Air Force Reserve base before holding a press conference to reaffirm their commitment to preserving the base. Wagner has no authority to officially audit a federal military base, but he has the right to request information and conduct the same kind of analysis that goes into a formal audit.
The Air Force in February announced it planned to close the base as part of a national streamlining of its facilities and aircraft. The area’s congressional delegation has repeatedly complained that the Pentagon has yet to provide adequate information to support its decision, and Wagner repeated that complaint Wednesday.
After the House and Senate passed language blocking the cuts, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that he would suspend any actions to retire aircraft or close the 911th until Congress finishes work on next year’s budget.
Last month, the Department of Defense awarded the contract to build a $10.5 million Navy operations center at the 911th, which was authorized in a 2005 national review of military bases. Backers of the 911th say the new center strengthens their case to keep the base open.
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