Air base officials thank Schumer for support as details are released on new mission

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — Last week it was announced the defense budget included a plan to bring back eight KC-135 air re-fueling jets to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS).

Federal, state and local officials lauded the proposal, saying it would be an economic boon for the area, boost the military presence in western New York and ensure the future success of the air base.

In fact, it was said last week the decision could grow the $200 million boon the airbase already pumps into the local economy.

The president’s budget included $25.5 million for the new mission at the NFARS, with monies earmarked for flying hours and training, along with money for capital investments to bring the tanker mission back on line.

Last Thursday, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer announced the President’s proposed defense budget included funding for the fleet to return to Niagara County, after being removed nearly a decade ago.

“Not only will these tankers help keep people at work, they will enhance the NFARS ​mission for the next two decades,” Schumer said. “I was proud to push to bring the KC-135 fleet to NFARS, which will not only fulfill a strategic role in our nation’s security but also protect thousands of good paying jobs to the residents of western New York.”

The defense budget will require approval from Congress before it takes effect Oct. 1.

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