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Air Force announces force structure changes that assign new C-130H Hercules mission to Mansfield-based 179th Airlift Wing

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  • By Capt. Nicole Ashcroft
  • 179th Airlift Wing
Today the Air Force confirmed force structure changes that will impact Airmen and aircraft at the 179th Airlift Wing, located in Mansfield, Ohio.

Under aviation force structure changes in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the Secretary of the Air Force announced Total Force Proposal (TFP) and Intra-theater Airlift Working Group (IAWG) adjustments. All four C-27J Spartan aircraft will be divested from Mansfield, while eight C-130H Hercules will be fielded. In addition, the 179th Airlift Wing will increase personnel strength from 650 to 830 total Airmen.

"Despite many adversities, Airmen at the 179th Airlift Wing have worked tirelessly these past few years to make Ohioans proud. I am so grateful to see their efforts pay off with the news of a new mission and the additional personnel to support that mission," said Maj. Gen. Deborah A. Ashenhurst, Ohio adjutant general. "I would like to thank the members of Ohio's congressional delegation for their tremendous efforts in making this come to fruition. They understand the contribution these Airmen make to America's security. I am also pleased these valuable resources will remain here, in Ohio, where they can support the citizens of Ohio and of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Region V."

The four C-27J aircraft are scheduled to be divested no later than September of this year. The first of eight C-130Hs will arrive by September as well, with the final C-130H scheduled to arrive by June 2016. The timeline for the personnel changes, as well as the exact breakdown of full-time and traditional positions that will be affected, is not known at this time.

"I'm very proud of our Airmen. They have faced a multitude of challenges since 2005 when it was announced that the 179th Airlift Wing would lose the C-130 mission," said Col. Gary A. McCue, 179th Airlift Wing commander. "Our Airmen never gave up. They continued to push forward with their tradition of excellence."