Will Air Force Reconsider Cuts to National Guard?

March 21, 2012 Updated Mar 21, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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March 21, 2012 Updated Mar 21, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT


Niagara Falls, NY (WKBW)- The future of the New York Air National Guard is looking more promising in Niagara Falls. The Air Force now says it is willing to reconsider cuts to the National Guard across the county including the 107th here in Western New York. At a committee meeting tuesday in Washington, the Air Force Secretary said he is willing to reconsider the cuts. A current re-structuring plan calls for the elimination of close to 850 jobs at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base.

"849 jobs is a lot of jobs. We can't afford to loose jobs. These are people that serve our country, they're our neighbors, and friends," said John Cooper of the Niagara Military Affairs Council.

Hammering out some sort of a reduced budget for the Air Force is inevitable, due to across the board cuts mandated for the Department of Defense. Other proposals have also been discussed, including creating new missions at the Niagara Falls Base. The local congressional delegation says it's pushing hard against any cuts.

"When they see me coming down the hall they know what I'm going to be talking about," said Congresswoman Kathy Hochul. "That's exactly what I want them to know, that this is very very important to us in Upstate New York and we'll fight to the bitter end."