Readshaw attends Military Community Enhancement Commission meeting

HARRISBURG, Sept. 30 – As an appointed commissioner, state Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, attended the meeting of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission held this week in Harrisburg.

The meeting focused on the future, with a discussion of the mission statement and a three-year plan and an upcoming study of the bases with the University of Pittsburgh.

Following lunch, the commissioners toured the 193rd Special Operations Wing, based out of Harrisburg international Airport in Middletown.

"This week's meeting was a solid step forward for the new commission," Readshaw said. "Commissioners are charged with ensuring our commonwealth, our communities and the Armed Forces in general receive the maximum benefit from our bases. As a veteran of our Armed Forces, I have a deep appreciation for the invaluable role that military communities play in increasing the quality of life in a region. Our military installations continue to serve as critical components to national security and early response efforts.

"As the co-chairman of the Military Installations and Base Development Caucus, I have been working on this issue for the last few years, so I am eager to continue the work of strengthening our military bases and utilizing the infrastructure, manpower and equipment they can provide."

Readshaw said this commission is planning a study to determine the optimal use of the 12 major bases in Pennsylvania, including the 911th Airlift Wing and 316th Sustainment Command in Moon Township.

In addition to Readshaw, other legislative members of the 17-member commission include state Sens. John Blake and Richard Alloway, and state Rep. Nick Miccarelli.

The Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission was established under the Department of Community and Economic Development and will coordinate with that department – and also with Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation – to identify potential sources of funding for economic development projects and to monitor the prospective impact of future base realignment and closure activities at the U.S. Department of Defense.

Formally established through Act 161 of 2014, the commission replaces the former Military Community Protection Commission, which was established by executive order. It is tasked with examining and advocating for Pennsylvania's military installations and the important roles they play in supporting our state's economy and national security.