Portman Announces FY 2022 NDAA Includes $8.7 Million For Assault Runway Improvement at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station

September 23, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the Senate’s FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes $8.7 million to widen an assault runway at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS). This will allow C-17 and C-130 pilots to perform required training landings in the Mahoning Valley, improving both our military readiness as well as strengthening the strategic viability of the base for decades to come.

Portman has consistently fought for YARS, which employs more than 2,000 people, to ensure it has the resources it needs to perform its mission.  He discussed the need for a runway expansion with base leaders during a visit in June and advocated for this project as part of the Senate’s NDAA process. 

“Currently, due to scheduling delays, clogged runways, and increased costs due to the required additional fuel consumption, YARS aircraft and crews must travel to Pope Air Force Base in North Carolina to preform required training landings. This funding will widen the assault runway located at YARS and allow our YARS servicemen and women to conduct this vital training in the Mahoning Valley. As the largest employer in Trumbull County, YARS has had a significant economic impact on the region, deployed its resources to those in need across the globe, and defended the values we hold dearest as Americans, and I’m proud this funding to support the base’s operations is included in the Senate’s annual defense bill.”

NOTE: In June, Portman visited YARS and met with the new Commander Colonel Jeff Van Dootingh, members of the Wing Command, and representatives from the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission to discuss the importance of YARS to the Youngstown community and to our country. In 2020, Portman urged the Air Force and Department of Defense to prioritize the specialty mission at YARS in the assignment of four new C-130J model aircrafts.  In 2018, Portman announced that the FY 2019 National Defense Authorization Act included $8.8 million to relocate the main gate at YARS to improve security and the flow of people and cargo on and off this busy facility. In 2016, the president signed into law Portman’s legislation requiring the Air Force to prioritize C-130 upgrades for YARS, an upgrade that would strengthen its mission capabilities. Portman has been urging the Air Force to replace YARS’ 910th Airlift Wing’s current fleet of C-130H aircraft with new C-130J aircraft to ensure that the 910th’s Department of Defense (DoD)-mandated specialized aerial spray mission continues safely and without interruption. Portman, who has consistently used his position as a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to advocate on behalf of YARS and its Airmen, will continue fighting to ensure that YARS has the leading edge capabilities needed to carry out their critically important national and homeland security missions. In 2015, Portman secured the $9.4 million in funding to upgrade the base’s indoor firing range facility.