Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that the Air Force has completed their environmental assessment and concluded that Stewart Air National Guard Base is its preferred choice for a C-17 mission that will boost the 105th Airlift Wing’s ability to provide trans-Atlantic flights to service members abroad. The move will help ensure the base’s continued strategic importance enabling it to continue as one of the Lower Hudson Valley’s largest employers, generating more than $200 million in annual economic activity for the region.
“C-17’s are a critical tool used to transport our military in their deployments in Afghanistan, as well as disaster areas like Haiti,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The men and women of the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard base have been provided a great opportunity to upgrade their aging fleet to supply our troops in the field and fly relief missions around the world. Placing these aircraft at Stewart will bolster our military’s ability to supply missions across the world and will also support job creation and economic growth in the Hudson Valley.”
The Air Force analyzed the mission capabilities, infrastructure capacity, environmental factors and cost of implementation at a range of bases across the country in determining where to base the C-17s. Stewart beat out Memphis International Airport in Tennessee and Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in Martinsburg in the final phase of consideration.
The C-17s will replace the 105th Airlift Wing’s aging C-5A fleet, which is one of the oldest in the Air Force inventory. As one of only two National Guard bases on the Eastern Seaboard that provides trans-Atlantic flights to service members abroad, Stewart provides essential services for U.S. armed forces, especially in the responsive delivery of both heavy and light forces and cargo to meet rapid deployment.