Air Force plans to deactivate Willow Grove wing

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Air Force Reserve Command officials briefed congressional leaders today on plans to deactivate the command's 913th Airlift Wing located at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Willow Grove, Pa. The deactivation process would result in personnel authorizations being removed Oct. 1, 2007.

The Air Force proposal is to close the tactical airlift unit at Willow Grove as part of the president's defense budget for 2008, which is scheduled for full release in February 2007.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission directed that NAS JRB Willow Grove be closed but did not specifically address the Air Force Reserve wing, which flies C-130 cargo aircraft. Typically, the Air Force would not disclose any future year's budget information until the February announcement. However, this advance notice allows people at the unit a better chance of finding new jobs in the Air Force Reserve.

The proposed plan is designed to accommodate Program Budget Directive 720 reductions and re-direct some of the unit's personnel authorizations elsewhere in the command.

If the Air Force plan is approved by Congress, reservists and civilians assigned to the unit will be eligible for positions at other Air Force Reserve Command units. To assist with new federal job opportunities, the Willow Grove wing members are enrolled in the AFRC BRAC database or "clearing house."

Reservists and civil servants can learn more about the job-placement clearing house and other assistance by accessing the following website from a military computer at This virtual job fair takes into account personal career and location preferences and works to match displaced people with new opportunities.

Tactical airlift operations that move cargo and people are a critical part of U.S. military operations worldwide in support of vital national interests, friendly and allied nations, humanitarian actions and the global war on terror. As the budget process unfolds, Air Force Reserve Command will update affected Airmen and civilians.

If the budget actions are approved, the Air Force's goal is to employ the Willow Grove people at other C-130 units as quickly as possible. The Air Force's primary focus is to place as many of the cargo experts as possible at the new C-130 airlift wing at Pope Army Airfield, N.C.

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