November 18, 2009

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Senate Approval for $5.7 Million in Military Construction Funding for Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

Funds Will Help Construct Small Arms Range for Weapons Training

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the Senate has approved the Fiscal Year 2010 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations bill, which includes $5.7 million in military construction funding for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Now that the bill has been approved by the full Senate, it will go into conference with the House version before going back to the Senate and House and on to the President.

"This is terrific news for the troops at the Niagara Air Reserve Base. With this critical hurdle in the appropriations process cleared, we are that much closer to ensuring that our troops have the best facilities and latest equipment to help them protect themselves and our nation," said Senator Schumer. "I will keep fighting tooth and nail for increased funding for Niagara Air Base, as this funding is vital to the base, to the region and our national defense."

"These critical federal dollars will help to upgrade our military facilities while creating good-paying jobs right here in New York," said Senator Gillibrand.  "Creating jobs in New York is my number one priority.  This funding will strengthen our economic recovery efforts and ensure our men and women in uniform have the very best facilities and opportunities.  They and their families have sacrificed for all of us and owe them for their incredible service."

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is in need of a modern firing range which would support the requirements of the Base wings, the units of the new Armed Forces Regional Readiness Center, and Department of Homeland Security tenants. The current number of firing line positions is inadequate to satisfy the volume of monthly training requirements which has grown with the addition of the Regional Readiness Center at the Base. Furthermore, without an indoor firing range, personnel must shoot at an off-base outdoor firing range. Due to the extreme weather conditions in the Buffalo area, the Wing loses several months of weapons qualifying each year.

The funds will help construct a new Small Arms Range which will allow personnel to satisfy mandatory weapons training as well as meeting safety and environmental requirements. The construction of a firing range to meet the military requirements would also serve as an asset for additional Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tenants which would offset the construction costs and reduce Base Operations Support costs to the Department of Defense.