Things are looking up for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station after Congress passed the Defense Appropriation Bill, which funds the military. They were able to include language that assures the government could not eliminate any current missions at air force bases in the upcoming year.
"It's exactly what we were looking for and back in March we were given really bad news, that our air guard wing would be losing its mission. Basically, this legislation and other legislation we passed in May to protect the base is going forward," Congresswoman Kathy Hochul said.
Preventing the closure of the 107th Airlift Wing has saved hundreds of jobs in the area, positively affecting the economy in Niagara County and across Western New York.
"Eight-hundred and forty-five jobs in this area are huge. There are many patriotic people who want to continue to serve. It's over $100 million impact. It's not just the workers it's the suppliers who supply to the base and really it's the biggest employer in Niagara County," Hochul said.
Hochul said the 107th mission is not only important for our national security but they're duties are critical in other ways.
"That's the national guard available when there is a disaster. The Governor has them available if there is flooding or hurricane, earthquakes or tornados, all of which have happened in New York State in the last couple of years," Hochul said.
Although they are one step closer, Hochul said it's a long process. Now, this bill must go through the Senate and be passed by the President.