Editorial: 180th Air National Guard base must stay open - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Editorial: 180th Air National Guard base must stay open

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo's 180th Air National Guard is one of the finest fighter units in the United States.  But, the sequester and debt ceiling agreement have forced the Defense Department to make 1.2 trillion dollars in reductions. This puts bases like ours at risk.  The 180th is a critical asset to America's security, playing a central role in the defense of the eastern half of the United States.

Toledo's Air National Guard also provides 400 people with full-time employment and an additional 1000 part time jobs, resulting in a total payroll of more than $49 million. The total economic impact to our region is over $105 million. Clearly, we cannot afford to lose this asset.

The Pentagon is already taking aggressive steps to reshape the nation's defense infrastructure. Cuts must be made, but Congressional research has shown the Air National Guard can operate at 1/3 the cost of the Air Force. The Air National Guard and the 180th Fighter Wing is the best avenue to retain the largest number of expert Air Force personnel and aircraft.

Community officials, state government and our congressional delegation must join to preserve our base.

This is a WTOL 11 Editorial. We want to know what you think. Send your comments to Editorial@WTOL.cm.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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