Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW release)-Early Thursday morning, Congresswoman Kathy Hochul joined with Republicans and Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) to offer an amendment to the FY13 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prevent cuts to the Air National Guard and protect installations like the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS).
The base was in jeopardy of loosing more than 800 jobs following mandated cuts within the United States Air Force and the Department of Defense, but a new amendment would change that for now. Hochul says the amendment will now preserve more than 800 jobs with the 107th airlift wing in Niagara falls.
"Today's amendment is a positive step toward ensuring the strong viability of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. While this is an ongoing process, the bill passed tonight is a significant victory in our effort to protect both the planes and personnel of the 107th Airlift Wing," Congresswoman Hochul said.
The Niagara Military Affairs Council, a local lobbying group formed to keep the base up and running, is cautiously optimistic. The group realizes that eventually, military budgets will be cut. They say things look good for now, but the threat remains for next year.
"We'll continue to fight and hopefully we can get this settled within a year, so the future will be set for a strong 107th," said Merrell Lane, Chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council.
The budget amendment in Washington still has to be passed by the senate and then approved and signed by the president to be included in the budget.