Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, announced that a $6.1 million construction project for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) has passed two critical committees as part of the 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill that will now head to the Senate floor for a vote. Specifically, the federal investment would allow the construction of a facility at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station to accommodate a full motion C-130 flight simulator. If the legislation is passed, the $6.1 million investment would construct a building that will include a mechanical and electrical system, communications equipment, and other special structural and electrical systems to support simulator operations. This simulator will be the only C-130 simulator in the Northeast, serving six C-130 Air Wings across the region. Schumer and Gillibrand applauded that this important infrastructure project for NFARS had cleared a critical hurdle, and called on their colleagues to support this bill in the Senate. The Senators noted that this infrastructure investment at NFARS would be key to preserving the military base's long term success.
"Niagara Falls Air Reserve station is as critical to Western New York's economy as it is to our national security, and this key military construction investment will help keep this station in active duty," said Senator Schumer. "This flight simulator project at NFARS would invest $6.1 million into the base, and would help ensure that infrastructure investments and critical military training occurs at NFARS for years to come. I am pleased that this military construction bill has cleared several key hurdles in the Senate and I will fight tooth and nail to ensure that this project becomes a reality."
"As the sole military installation in Western New York, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is vital to our state's security, and the region's economy," said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "This investment in new and updated technology infrastructure will equip Niagara with the resources it needs, and help attract new missions to Niagara to help retain airmen at Niagara, and protect jobs for Western New York."
The 2013 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill has cleared both the Senate and House Appropriations and Armed Services committees. The Senate appropriations bill provides total funding of $146.6 billion for Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies for fiscal year 2013. The bill includes $71.9 billion in discretionary funding and $74.6 billion in mandatory funding. The bill also includes $54.5 billion in fiscal year 2014 advance appropriations for veterans medical services.
Discretionary funding is $465.9 million below the President's budget request and $227.7 million above the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.
In addition, Senator Gillibrand worked with her Senate Armed Services Committee colleagues to block for Fiscal Year 2013 the Air Force proposed elimination of the National Guard unit at NFARS, and to establish an independent Commission of the proposed restructuring, which would be reviewed by the defense committees in Congress prior to any action in future years.