U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and Congressman Gregory Meeks today announced that following their push, sorely-needed and long-sought projects at the Jamaica Armory cleared a major hurdle towards securing federal funding. The senators and congressman explained that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY2020), which has just been finalized and is expected to pass early next week, will authorize full funding for a 41,000 square foot addition to the Jamaica Readiness Center and restoration of an existing 140,000 square foot facility to support the center’s training, administrative, and logistical needs.
The inadequate and outdated condition of the Jamaica Readiness Center impacts the New York Army National Guard’s response capabilities in New York. This funding will provide essential new infrastructure, replace outdated mechanical systems, and eliminate current environmental and safety hazards. The construction project includes upgrades to the Readiness Center’s gas, electric, sewer, water and communication utilities, in addition to a new roofing system and an emergency generator. Furthermore, new security cameras will be installed to bolster security measures and controlled access.
“This huge federal investment will completely revamp and modernize the Jamaica Armory and serve as a boon and anchor to the Queens community, the National Guard and all of New York City,” said Senator Schumer. “Working with my partner, Congressman Gregory Meeks, I am proud we secured the tens of millions in vital federal funding in the NDAA, that is expected to pass early next week, for the desperately-needed modernization of the Jamaica Armory. The readiness of our nation’s military is built, in part, on adequate facilities that support troops. Soon the National Guard will have the funds needed to improve the long-term readiness and recruitment capabilities of the Jamaica Armory here in Queens. I have been a staunch advocate of the Jamaica Armory project for years and I’ll continue to support the project through its completion and until all modernization goals have been met.”
“I am pleased that the final NDAA will include critical funding for the Jamaica Armory in Queens that will help modernize its facilities. The funding will be used to support unit training, mobilization, emergency response, and logistics at Jamaica Armory’s Readiness Center,” said Senator Gillibrand, Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Committee. “The Jamaica Armory is essential to our country’s national defense, the Army’s mission, and the New York community. I was proud to fight for this funding to be a part of the final NDAA and to help ensure the troops at Jamaica Armory have the resources they need to be prepared.”
“I am pleased to see funding for the Jamaica Armory Readiness Center pass in the NDAA so it can make its way to the Army National Guard for construction,” said Congressman Meeks. “The readiness center, along with the repairs and improvements of the existing space, has been a much sought after upgrade for the National Guard, and will be instrumental in their continued operations here in my district. I thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand for their leadership and cooperation in getting this done.”
In March 2019, at the urging of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, the military construction project at the Jamaica Armory was listed at number one on the Army National Guard’s Unfunded Priorities List. Prior to the senators’ and congressman’s intervention, no funds were allocated to the Jamaica Readiness Center in the Future Years Defense Program.