December 12, 2014

Senate Passes Gillibrand Secured Measure In NDAA Bill Requiring Air Force To Provide Timeline On C-130s Return To Niagara Falls Air Force Reserve Base

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced a measure she pushed for that would require the U.S. Air Force to provide information about the return of the C-130H3s to the 914th Air Force Reserve unit at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, was passed by the Senate today in the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Senator Gillibrand successfully passed this measure out of the Senate Armed Services Committee in May.  The language included in the Senate-passed version of NDAA expands on the provision, prohibiting funding for the transfer of C-130s until the Secretary of the Air Force submits a report to Congress that explains how, if at all, the plan for moving C-130s deviates from the total force structure proposal described in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, its cost, and what potential benefits may exist.

Senator Gillibrand has long advocated for the 914th Air Force Reserve unit at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. She has written several letters to the Air Force since this plan was revealed, asking for an expedited return of these airframes to the 914th Airlift Wing.  The language included in the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act instructs the Air Force to report back to Congress on its recommended basing alignment for all C-130 models, and to identify any deviation from the plan agreed to in FY2013, the reasons for the changes and their impact.

"As the sole military installation in Western New York, the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is vital to our national defense and our region's economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “After the mission change for the Air National Guard unit also stationed at Niagara, I asked the Air Force for an update on the return of the newer C-130H3 models to the 914th Airlift Wing.  I am pleased we will now be able to get a concrete information about when we can expect them home.”

As a result of the 2005 BRAC round, the 914th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve and the 107th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard were realigned to form an association. At that time, the Air Force removed the newer model C-130H3 airframes that were flown by the 914th and add additional older C-130H2 models that were being flown by the 107th AW.   As part of the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act, the association between the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve at the base was dissolved, and the 107th Airlift Wing began a conversion to an MQ-9 RPA mission.

The full text of the letters to the Air Force are attached