Will Air Force Budget Plan End Hopes To Save Niagara Falls Air Base Jobs?

April 12, 2012 Updated Apr 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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April 12, 2012 Updated Apr 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM EDT


TOWN OF NIAGARA, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) --The Air Force has thrown another curve ball at the air base in Niagara Falls. There's a chance that all the alternative proposals won't work... and the military says it will now go back to it's original plan...severe cuts to the Air Guard.... and that is not good news for the 107th in Niagara Falls.

The internet site... Air Force Times... is reporting that a proposal made by 10 state governors, that would have lessened the cuts the Air Force is proposing in its 2013 budget, has been rejected. Those cuts would cost the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station nearly 900 jobs and would mean the loss of 3 of its C-130 transport aircraft. NIMAC - the Niagara Military Affairs Council, the airbase's civilian support group, has been working hard to stop the proposed cuts.

"Well obviously we are concerned about what the Air Force report holds. We have not seen the entire document yet," said Merrell Lane, chairman of the Niagara Military Affairs Council. "We are not sure where that leaves us right at this point...but, there is some concern," he added.

Beginning in October of this year, the Pentagon wants to cut all 845 members of the 107TH, effectively eliminating the Air National Guard unit... one of two major units operating at the base. "The original report that came out, did say that if the entire wing was disassembled...it would involve about 850 or so jobs. So, it could be quite devastating to western New York, as far as the jobs situation," Lane remarked.

The state and federal representatives are pushing hard against any cuts for Niagara Falls. Earlier meetings with Pentagon officials seemed promising. The article says the alterative plan fails to meet the requirements necessary for Air Force approval.