On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Military Construction Appropriations bill and approved $6.1 million for construction of a C-130 flight simulator facility at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.
"The support for this project highlights the important role the Air Base plays in our national security, and the construction of this facility strengthens the future of the base," said U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul.
Hochul reports the $6.1 million investment would provide for a full motion C-130 flight simulator, in addition to other special structural and electrical systems to support simulator operations at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. This simulator will be the only C- 130 simulator in the Northeast, serving six C-130 Air Wings across the region.
The simulator funding comes just weeks after Hochul led the fight in the House against cuts to the Air National Guard. She has met regularly with senior military leadership, including Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and has worked closely with the Western New York Congressional delegation to ensure the 107th Air Wing maintains a strong presence at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and to bring the simulator to the base.
The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is comprised of the 914th and 107th Airlift wings, and is one of only two associate wings between the Air Reserve and Air National Guard in the U.S. In 2011, the Air Base conducted over 1,500 missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan. As well as providing critical air ambulance and other life saving services in response to Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010.
As the sole military installation in Western New York and the largest employer in Niagara County, the base supports 3,500 employees and has an annual direct economic impact of $168 million.