New Aircraft Bringing 200 Jobs to Airlift Wing

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MANSFIELD, Ohio — Two new aircraft flew into the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield Friday.

They’re part of a new airlift mission officials said will add 200 jobs at the air base.

The base will get rid of four C27J Spartan aircraft and receive eight C-130 Hercules aircraft after structure changes in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.

The new planes are built to transport and air drop troops and equipment.

It’s a welcome addition to the city, which just a few years ago was told the base would be closing.

“We were slated to close,” said 179th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Gary McCue. “They were going to take the C27s and close the unit, but we rallied support here in the community, and with the help of our congressional delegation, all of them, the senators and the congressman, we saved the unit and we got a new mission.”

The 200 new jobs expected with the additions will be made up of both civilian and military positions, according to officials.

“That will be an increase in employees in the city and our tax base, so it’s just a great thing for the city of Mansfield,” said Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker.

The wing is scheduled to receive the final aircraft by 2016.