Air Force cuts means changes at Maxwell Air Force Base - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Air Force cuts means changes at Maxwell Air Force Base

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The U.S. Air Force announced today that it plans to retire the C130H as part of a plan to retire older aircraft and save $487 billion dollars over the next decade.  That move eliminates all of the aircraft from 908th Air Wing - a unit that's been based at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery for nearly a half-century.

The Wing's commander will remain operational, but what mission it will have remains to be seen.

"We don't know what the Air Force has in mind for us as a future mission," said Col. Brett Clark, the 908th Air Wing Commander. "But we are proud to support our command and the Air Force in a future mission."

The 908th is the state's only Air Force reserve unit. It has approximately 1,200 officers and airmen who serve the unit as reservists.  They normally spend one weekend a month and two weeks of annual tour per year with the unit, according to an Air Force press release. The day-to-day operations of the 908th are handled by a group of 175 civil servants known as air reserve technicians who also serve as reservists and a small number of civilian employees who do not have reserve status.  

The Air Force has not said what personnel cuts may result from the change, but Mayor Todd Strange is hopeful.

"It, as I understand it, is a couple of years in process, in 2014," Mayor Strange said. "That will give us a lot of time to work with our Congressional delegation to see what other missions that might be stood up there or accomplished there and how we might could transition some of these full time people that are there."

Col. Clark said he expects announcement in the coming weeks about the future mission and more clarity about the future of its employees.  Congress must approve the changes, and the President must sign them into law before they would take effect. 

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