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updated: 11/1/2013 9:11 AM

Former congressman hired as consultant on air base's behalf

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Associated Press

MASCOUTAH -- A former longtime southwestern Illinois congressman and a retired Air Force general have been hired to be part of a consulting team intent on protecting downstate Scott Air Force Base from any potential closure.

The Belleville News-Democrat ( reports that former Rep. Jerry Costello and Duncan McNabb will work with a Washington-based government relations firm under a contract with the Leadership Council Southwestern Illinois.

Costello is a Belleville Democrat who retired in January from the 12th Congressional District after more than two decades in Congress. McNabb has served as commander of the U.S. Transportation Command and the Air Mobility Command at Scott.

The council's Ellen Krohne says the consulting team was assembled to prepare for the next round of closure considerations in 2015.

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