Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport (ANG)
The 178th Fighter Wing (FW) of the Ohio Air National Guard occupies 113.6 acres of leased land on the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, located in central Ohio, approximately five miles south of the city of Springfield and approximately 50 miles west of Columbus. The mission of the 178th FW is to train future fighter pilots. The unit currently flies the F-16 Falcon. The 178th FW occupies 8 administrative, 25 industrial, and 6 services buildings totaling approximately 336,330 square feet with 409 full-time personnel. A unit training drill is conducted twice a month and results in a surge of up to a total of 829 personnel. Two projects are currently funded for construction in FY 2002. These include a Hush House and a 30,800 SF Squadron Operations Complex.
The Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport is located on State Route 794, two miles south of the City of Springfield. As a major military unit and vital component of the area's economy, the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport provides air travel and cargo needs for both citizen and business activities in the Springfield region. Since 1946, Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport has been a cornerstone of the aviation system across the State of Ohio. The 1,400-acre Airport is located at the heart of air travel and cargo activity in Southwestern Ohio, and serves the residential and business communities of Clark, Greene, and Champaign counties. Springfield Beckley is also the closest general aviation facility to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is home to the Air Force Material Command headquarters.
Two intersecting runways including a 9,000' x 150' primary runway and a 5,500' x 100' crosswind runway. Air Traffic Control Tower. Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting Facility. Instrument Landing System (ILS) for the 9,000' runway providing all-weather landing capability and air access. Landside / Support Facilities include a 7,500-square foot terminal. 9,800-square yard itinerant ramp for visiting aircraft and air taxi service. Full-service Fixed Base Operator provides sales of avgas and jet fuel. An avionics repair facility, air taxi and charter services, and corporate hangar and T-hangar space for aircraft owners and operators are available. The civilian airport does not have a weather station. Most aircraft noise in the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport area are generated by military aircraft.
Secretary of Defense Recommendation: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport AGS, OH. It would distribute the 178th Fighter Wing's F-16 aircraft to the 132d Fighter Wing, Des Moines IAP AGS, IA (nine aircraft); the 140th Wing (ANG), Buckley AFB, CO (three aircraft) and 149th Fighter Wing (ANG), Lackland AFB, TX (six aircraft), but retain The wing's expeditionary combat support (ECS) elements, the 251st Combat Communications Group (ANG) and 269th Combat Communications Squadron (ANG) in place, and relocate the wing's firefighter positions to Rickenbacker AGS, OH.
Secretary of Defense Justification: The decision to realign Springfield-Beckley's F-16s and not replace force structure at Springfield-Beckley was based on considerations of military value and all other available information. Buckley (64) and Lackland (47) had higher military value than Springfield-Beckley (128), and Buckley had a role in the Homeland Defense mission.
The total estimated one-time cost to the Department of Defense to implement this recommendation would be $11.4M. The net of all costs and savings to the Department during the implementation period would be a cost of $8.4M. Annual recurring savings to the Department after implementation would be $0.9M with a payback expected in 17 years. The net present value of the costs and savings to the Department over 20 years would be a savings of $0.7M. Assuming no economic recovery, this recommendation could result in a maximum potential reduction of 440 jobs (291 direct jobs and 149 indirect jobs) over the 2006-2011 period in the Dayton-Springfield, OH, Metropolitan Statistical economic area (0.7 percent). Impacts of costs include $0.3M in costs for environmental compliance and waste management.
Community Concerns: The Springfield-Beckley, OH, community criticized several Mission Compatability Index (MCI) scores, claiming Air Force use of a one-size-fits-all approach is inherently biased in favor of large active-duty bases and the base's status as an F-16 formal training unit (FTU) should have exempted it from data calls pertaining to standard weapons storage requirements. DoD's military value scores reflected neither the base's mission nor mission requirements. According to the community's analysis, accurate data reflecting pavement quality, range space, training capacity, and maintenance and logistics capacity would have resulted in a significantly higher score. In addition, community representatives argued DoD failed to account for costs associated with replacing pilots and maintainers who would not move to the proposed location. They contended DoD completely ignored their proximity to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the possibility of a community-basing program Beckley. They felt that if quantitative military value analysis results did not satisfy the Air Force, "military judgment" was arbitrarily applied to justify the BRAC proposal. Last, the community expressed concerns about the 291 direct and 149 indirect jobs that could be lost, adding that they knew the F-16 would go away at some point but questioned if it was prudent to retire it so soon.
Commission Findings: The Commission found that the Department of Defense recommendation to realign Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport Air Guard Station should be supported even though the military value criteria were flawed and the realignment will be a cost instead of a savings to the Department. This unit is a training squadron for the F-16. There are currently two other Flying Training Units (FTUs) in the Total Force. The Commission agreed that with the total number of F-16s being reduced in the Air Force, the training requirements will be reduced commensurately. The Commission established an F-16 wing at Buckley AFB, Colorado and at Lackland AFB, Texas. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard Laydown plan.
This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence.
Commission Recommendations:The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criteria 2 and 5, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport Air Guard Station, OH. Distribute the 18 F-16 aircraft assigned to the 178th Fighter Wing (ANG) to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Establish 18 PAA F-16 aircraft at the 140th Wing (ANG), Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado.
Establish 18 PAA F-16 aircraft at the 149th Wing (ANG), Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.
Establish a contiguous enclave for the 178th Fighter Wing (ANG) sufficient to support operations of that unit, including flight operations, and compatible with joint use of the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport as a civilian airport.
If the State of Ohio decides to change the organization, composition and location of the 178th Fighter Wing (ANG) to integrate the unit into the Future Total Force, all personnel allotted to the 178th Fighter Wing (ANG), including the unit's Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) elements, will remain in place and assume a mission relevant to the security interests of the State of Ohio and consistent with the integration of the unit into the Future Total Force, including but not limited to air mobility, C4ISR, Information Operations, engineering, flight training or unmanned aerial vehicles. Where appropriate, unit personnel will be retrained in skills relevant to the emerging mission.
This recommendation does not effect a change to the authorized end-strength of the Ohio Air National Guard. The distribution of aircraft currently assigned to the 178th Fighter Wing (ANG) is based upon a resource-constrained determination by the Department of Defense that the aircraft concerned will better support national security requirements in other locations and is not conditioned upon the agreement of the state.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.
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