The 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard base where Air Force One will land Wednesday morning remains threatened by President Barack Obama's proposed cuts to the military budget.This is an issue that both Senators Brown and Portman have been bending the President's ear about. Yesterday, Portman said,
The C-27Js will be positioned at the base so Obama sees them when Air Force One taxis in, Col. Michael Howard, 179th Airlift Wing vice commander, said Monday.
If President Obama has his way, his Air Force One arrival would be one of the final flights into Mansfield-Lahm Airport. Despite numerous reports highlighting the value of the 179th, and the critical capability they and their C-27J aircraft provide to our deployed soldiers, President Obama wants to do away with the mission for the 800 Guardsmen at the base. Time and again, these Ohioans have answered the call to serve. They must be pretty frustrated to see the president drop into town, ignore their award-winning work, and fail to give them a straight answer about his plans to end their important mission.Even Sherrod Brown agrees.
When the president travels to Mansfield on Wednesday, I hope he will get a better sense of just how vital the C-27J program is to the Air National Guard Base at Mansfield and the economy of north central Ohio.Sadly, after all of the attention that the Obama campaign is paying to Ohio, and all of the urging from Senators Brown and Portman, the White House seems absolutely oblivious to the issue.
Watch Obama spokesman Jay Carney
REPORTER: Can you talk a little bit about why the president is going back to the same area of Akron, Ohio tomorrow that he has visited before? And in Mansfield the local paper is reporting if President Obama has his way his Air Force One arrival would be one of the final flights into the Mansfield airport, because the president wants to do away with the mission for the 800 guardsmen at the Mansfield.
JAY CARNEY: I’ll have to take the question, I’m not aware of that particular issue. In terms of why is he is going to Ohio and Akron--
REPORTER: No, to that area of Ohio, Mansfield and Akron, I mean he was just there on the bus tour.
CARNEY: There is not an inch of Ohio that the president does not love to visit. [laughter] It’s a great state, my wife’s home state.
REPORTER: In terms of Mansfield, can we get you to take that question?
CARNEY: Sure. I’m not aware of even the policy implications or what issue this is.
Sounds like even Sherrod Brown's words are falling on deaf ears at the White House. Or maybe Obama just doesn't care.