Robert Gleason

Robert Gleason, a Westmont resident, will continue to be a liaison between the military and his hometown region thanks to his recent reappointment to the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Former President Donald Trump renewed Gleason’s membership in December.

The board’s mission is to inquire about the general state of the academy, regarding numerous areas, including curriculum, morale and discipline. Gleason has been serving since Trump first appointed him in 2018.

“It’s been a great experience,” Gleason, former chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, said.

Gleason, an Air Force veteran, has visited the academy in Colorado and the Pentagon as part of his duties. 

“The real enjoyment of this is going out eating with cadets and doing those types of things,” Gleason said.

One of his goals will be to find expanded uses for the John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport that once housed the Johnstown National Guard’s Apache attack helicopters.

“We have a wonderful airport,” Gleason said. “One of my things that I want to try to do is get a bigger presence by the military at our airport. We used to have those attack helicopters. They took them away from us. Even while I was there, I tried to get them back. I met with some guys. I talked to some people. 

“It’s a very difficult thing to do. When I asked them what is the best thing I can do to help our community, the guy said, ‘Try to get the attack helicopters back.’ I wasn’t able to. But I’m going to keep working on it. I think that’s an important thing.”

Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on Twitter @Dave_Sutor.

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