U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced today that several New York priorities that were incorporated into the Military Construction appropriations bill have passed Congress and are now on their way to the President’s desk. Specifically, the bill includes $19 million in funding for a new non-commissioned officer (NCO) training academy at Fort Drum in Watertown. The current NCO academy is located in twenty substandard and deteriorating World War II-era structures that are widely dispersed and difficult to travel between. Schumer and Gillibrand said consolidating the NCO Academy’s functions within one complex will allow it to reduce operating costs, give military officials a modern facility to train non-commissioned officers, and result in economic development opportunities for the North Country.
“The current NCO Academy is in no shape to train the dedicated men and women who serve our country,” said Senator Schumer. “I am pleased this $19 million in funding for a new Fort Drum training academy has now passed Congress, and I will continue fighting for it until it has been signed by the President. This has the potential to bring economic development opportunities to Jefferson County and ensure the Army has the resources it needs to train our brave soldiers.”
“Our troops at Fort Drum should have the very best facilities and these critical resources will help provide for a new NCO Academy complex at Fort Drum,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “With this funding, Fort Drum will be able to design and build the new NCO training academy. I will continue fighting to ensure Fort Drum has the resources it needs to remain strong and continue to be a critical asset to our national defense.”
Schumer and Gillibrand said this will serve as a leadership training facility for sergeants and will replace the current facility, which is located in 20 sub-standard WWII temporary structures that are deteriorating and expensive to maintain, in addition to being widely dispersed. The new complex will include barracks, a general instruction building with automated-aided classrooms and general purpose administration facility, in addition to organizational storage space, parking areas, an arms room, auditorium, learning resource center, covered (enclosed) training area and lawn and snow equipment building. It will also include a running track with a physical training area on the infield, to accommodate 136 student soldiers and 24 staff.
The new NCO Academy will consolidate the operations of the old academy into a new facility and includes a barracks, a general instruction building with automated-aided classrooms, new administration facilities, an auditorium, a training area and a running track with a physical training area. The facility is funded by the military construction program in military construction and veterans administration’s appropriations bill.