WNY congressmen seek tanker mission for air base

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) — The push continues for the relocation of KC-135 refueling planes to the Niagara Falls air base.

Two western New York congressmen, Republican Chris Collins and Democrat Brian Higgins, have scheduled a news conference for Friday to talk about the latest efforts.

The future of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is an ongoing concern in western New York, where it has 3,000 full- and part-time employees. It’s so far been spared in military downsizing, but supporters say more missions will improve its chances of surviving future base closings.

The base had an earlier KC-135 tanker mission, but that ended several years ago.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and the volunteer Niagara Military Affairs Council also have been lobbying military leaders for a return of the refueling planes.

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