April 26, 2007 |
The Navy yesterday torpedoed a deal announced two weeks ago by Gov. Rendell that would have allowed the state to take control of Willow Grove Naval Air Station from the Air Force when it closes. A spokesman for the governor said the Navy's decision had taken him by surprise. "The governor is disappointed and feels the Navy's action is shortsighted and intends to work with the congressional delegation to pursue the original goal," spokesman Chuck Ardo said. The original goal was to obtain a state lease for the nearly 1,100 acres at Willow Grove, which the federal government's Base Closure and Realignment Commission voted to close in August 2005.
April 14, 2007 |
Gov. Rendell announced a deal with the Air Force yesterday that could prevent the nearly 1,100 acres at Willow Grove Naval Air Station from being abandoned in the next four years and eventually developed. The state wants to turn the base into a sort of combination military facility and civilian emergency preparedness center, with the capability of responding to a local 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina. With Air Force cooperation, the state hopes to take control of the base by 2011 and lease its facilities for any number of uses, including the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's new 56th Stryker Brigade.
January 5, 2007 |
The part-time airmen of the 913th Airlift Wing have ferried U.S. military personnel and supplies across much of the world. In recent years, the Willow Grove unit has supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and aided humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa. Now, the Air Force Reserve Command says it intends to shut down the unit, take away the remainder of its aging, propeller-driven C-130 aircraft, and close its facilities at the Willow Grove Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Montgomery County.
May 14, 2005 |
Words of hope belied a mournful mood in Philadelphia's northern suburbs yesterday as lower Montgomery County communities reacted to news that the Pentagon might close the Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham Township. "These are just recommendations. It may not happen," Col. Steven J. Chapman, commander of the 913th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve, based at Willow Grove, said at a news conference yesterday afternoon. When asked what he would do if the based closed, Chapman hesitated.
January 20, 2005 |
It's not exactly Betty Grable or the other pin-ups whose images used to adorn combat planes. But the logo of the Philadelphia Wings lacrosse team placed on a Horsham-based Air National Guard plane this week is just as proudly displayed and just as likely to see action. Since 9/11, the 111th Fighter Wing has been activated four times, including deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unit's A-10 attack planes have made and repulsed many attacks. And with continued fighting in Iraq, future deployments are a strong possibility.
December 23, 2003 |
His arm still wrapped tightly around his wife, Jennifer, Air Force reservist Robert Trotter reached into his tan duffel bag and pulled out a small stuffed camel. "I have something for you," he cooed, dangling the toy in front of his 15-month-old daughter, Megan. Then he kissed her on top of her head. "You belong to me," he said softly, as his wife blinked back tears. The couple would later return to their Warminster home to share dinner with their family, an early Christmas celebration for Trotter and other members of the 913th Airlift Wing returning home from the Middle East.
August 16, 2002 |
As the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks approaches, terrorism concerns turn more local. Horsham Township police now are asking residents to report any suspicious activity on the perimeter of the Willow Grove Naval Air Station. But why would al-Qaeda target Willow Grove? "If you were a member of al-Qaeda and the only thing you knew was hell was raining down" from an American plane, Horsham Police Capt. Joseph Repkoe said yesterday, you might strike at any military base.
May 29, 2000 |
Members of the military honor guard often dread the moment. Taps has been played, the salute has been raised, and the folded American flag must be presented to the grieving kin of a deceased veteran. "You have to take a deep breath," said Army Cpl. Wayne Tyson of Germantown, an honor-guard member. "Because, for that moment, you feel what they feel. " Such funerals are increasingly in demand today, and they are now required by law to be provided to families of deceased veterans who request it. The mandate comes as affording those honors has become more difficult as the military downsizes, bringing base closures and reductions in active-duty personnel.
February 26, 1999 |
Forty-five area Air Force reservists are scheduled to leave their homes and jobs temporarily, beginning tonight, for a makeshift tent village on the banks of the Ulua River in northwestern Honduras. They will participate in continuing efforts to rebuild infrastructure destroyed last year by Hurricane Mitch. The reservists, from the 913th Civil Engineering Squadron based at Willow Grove Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base, will work for two weeks to build a two-room, cinderblock elementary school in the town of El Progresso.
December 16, 1996 |
Santa canned the reindeer and flew in from the North on a gun-metal gray, C-130 cargo plane yesterday. Despite the red suit, ample belly and distinctly non-military facial hair, he was, after all, still a reservist. For mentally and physically handicapped residents from the Willow Grove and Hatboro areas, Santa has had that distinctly military bearing for more than a decade - ever since a few reservists at the Willow Grove Air Reserve Station decided to throw a Christmas party for some of the folks in their neighborhood.