195107 CVG to ILN
is To Be shifted To Wilmington 15ase In Ohio, Force Says. Blue Ash Gets New Hope, But Hot Political Battle Looms Over Issue. ' BY GLENN THOMPSON. (ENQUIRER CORRESPONDENT) WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 The-Air Force today opened a new horizon for Blue Ash Airport, Cincinnati. A hot backstage political fight loomed with an announcement that the Air Force was shifting its reserve training program from Greater Cincinnati Airport, Boone County, Ky., to Clinton County Air Force Base, Wilmington, Ohio, The announcement did not mention Blue Ash. Nor did it mention the fart that $2,207,000, voted by the recent session of Congress, Is not to be spent now at Greater Cincinnati and may- , be never will be. (The Greater Cincinnati Airport, though situated in Boone County, is owned by Kenton County and is operated under the Jurisdiction of Kenton Fiscal Court and the Kenton County Air port Board.) TEMPORARY? Word received in Covington last night was that the removal of Air Force Reserve units io Wilmington, Ohio, was not of a permanent nature. John G. Cox, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, contacted the office of Rep. Brent Spence end wi told that any transfer of the activities from the Greater Cincinnati Airport would be only temporary, Lt. Col. Ver-dier Moore, in charge of the operation at the airport, could not be reached for a statement last night. The announcement said simply that the Clinton Base, on standby since 1949, is to be reactivated for use by the USAF reserve training activities now at Greater Cincinnati airport. It continued: "The 2252nd AF Reserve Training Center and the 910th Reserve Training Wing are scheduled to transfer to Clinton County Air Force Base on an interim basis. These units, now operating at the Greater Cincinnati Airport, will soon move to Clinton County Air Force Base temporarily until a permanent location in the Southern Ohio area is acquired. "Due to a lack of facilities at Greater Cincinnati, the decision to move to Clinton County Air Force Base was made to utilize already existing facilities. No flying activi ties are planned In the immediate future. "ON INTERIM BASIS." An Air Force spokesman, under questioning, agreed that Greater Cincinnati's $2,207,000 for training facilities, housing, pavements, hangars, shops and utilities Is not to be spent now. Where It will be spent Is uncertain. Clinton's base Is too small to accommodate the training wing when brought to full strength. The program then will move. Where it goes, the spokesman said, will depend on (1) what location is the most convenient for the reservists being trained and (2) what is available. It could go back to the Boone County field, but the spokesman mentioned that engineers already had found that construction there would cost several hundred thousand dollars more for earth moving than was anticipated, WOULD FLE.VSE AF. The truth of the matter Is. that the Air Force never wanted to go to the Kentucky field. It wanted some place nearer the renter of the large population of Cincinnati, Hamilton and Middlctown, so that it can recruit reservists easily. It would like Blue Ash fine, and Blue Ash has been brought to its attention. However, It cannot construct airfields, only training facilities. But, If Blue Ash should become an operating airport In ' "the interim" mentioned ln the announcement, there Is no question that the Air Force would happily move Its training program and It s $3,207,000 to Blue . Ash. The "Interim" Is expected to last at least a year, maybe two. The fight will Begin as soon as this is printed. Rep. Brent Spence, Fort Thomas, Ky., in whose district the Boone field lies, will make his influential Democratic voice heard. Vice President Barkley, un old friend of the Boone port, may speak up. Kentucky Senators will certainly Join the cry. Southern Ohio's Republicans In Congress may find themselves overmatched in this tussle. They run look for some assistance, how ever, from Charles Sawyer, Commerce Secretary, a friend of Blue Ash who has been kept Informed. The fact that "a permanent location in the Southern Ohio area" might assist tlw national defenr also may be given some consideration.