October 2020 Edition
The Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber and our members, value the relationships we’ve built with our local military men and women over the years. Both the 171st Air Refueling Wing and the 911th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve located right here in Moon Twp., PA provide superior global reach through air refueling expertise, offering the best mission support in domestic and international operations. These two bases are our partners, our neighbors and our family here in the airport area.

A bit of history for you – what we now call “The Miracle of the 911th” is a story that will go down in the Pittsburgh history books. It’s a story in which the local military and business community have written a new chapter, cementing the future of the Air Force Reserve in the airport area. Since 1995, the Defense Department has regularly attempted to close the 911th Airlift Wing. In 2011, the Chamber, led by then-PAACC President Sally Hass, began efforts to save the 911th Airlift Wing by partnering its Military Affairs Council with local, state and federal elected officials, the Pittsburgh International Airport and the support of many local businesses. These efforts proved successful in 2013, when the Air Force declared that the 911th was safe. The bipartisan work from Capitol Hill, Harrisburg and locally to save the base from multiple closure attempts is how the story got its name - “The Miracle of the 911th.” 

So, here we are in 2020, our community blessed with the newly refitted, mission-ready C-17 airlift conversion under the command of Col. John Robinson. He and his leadership team manage over 1,600 civilian, reserve officers and reserve enlisted airmen, who have an average service of 11 years in the United States Airforce.

Look up in the sky and you just might see the enormous C-17 Globemaster III landing or taking off. This massive vehicle boasts a maximum takeoff weight of 585,000 pounds and a unit cost of $202 million. I, along with 20 civic leaders from our community, recently had the privilege of participating in a refueling mission in tandem with the 171st Air Refueling Wing. What an experience for all of us! I will never forget my view from the cockpit as the tanker refueled our C-17 Globemaster in flight.

I am proud of this relationship that has been built over the years. If you are interested in engaging, helping families of local airmen, attending events or just becoming connected with our local military, please contact us here at the PAACC and we will gladly help you to get connected.

Chris Heck
President/CEO
Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce
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Advocacy Corner
A message from Pennsylvania State Senator Pam Iovino of the 37th District -
Pennsylvania set aside $225 million in federal CARES funds for small business grants. I’m fighting to add more funding.
Entrepreneurial Corner
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