Renewed Hope For The Air Reserve Base

March 23, 2012 Updated Mar 23, 2012 at 8:28 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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March 23, 2012 Updated Mar 23, 2012 at 8:28 AM EDT

Niagara Falls, N.Y. (WKBW) – Federal officials will discuss the future of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, specifically the 107th Airlift Wing, at an internal Pentagon meeting Friday.

Cuts to the base may not be as bad as expected.

Initially, cuts would have taken about 850 jobs away from the base, and ultimately the Niagara Falls region. This is an effort for the Federal government to cut more than $500 billion in the defense budget. Now, the Air Force is reconsidering what they will take away from the station.

This has many people relieved, including Chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council John Cooper. He said these jobs are crucial, not only to the base, but the surrounding community.

“Eight hundred and forty-five jobs is a lot of jobs and I think anyone would understand we can't afford to lose jobs but that's just part of it. These are people that serve our country, they're our neighbors, and friends,” Cooper said.

Other proposals have been made for the airlift wing. Many local leaders have suggested creating new missions for workers, including bringing surveillance airplanes to Niagara Falls.

The final decision lies in the hands of Congress but the meeting at the Pentagon will have an impact on that outcome.