Louise Slaughter (NY-28) on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

21 Feb

Last week, during a meeting with the Air Force, I received news from Major General Charles Stenner, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs for the Air Force, that 12 C-130H2 aircraft will be delivered to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) by July 2008. This is truly great news for a base that is vital not only to the security of our nation, but to the economies of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Frankly, it is quite an extraordinary achievement given that only three years ago the Pentagon recommended the Base be shut down.

In early 2005, NFARS was included on the list of recommended base closures put forth by the Department of Defense as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. As a major source of employment, closing the Base would have resulted in a catastrophic blow to the Western New York economy. Additionally, it would have negatively affected our national security due to its strategic location along a highly-trafficked border.

I, along with several of my fellow New York colleagues worked tirelessly to ensure that the Pentagon’s ill-advised proposal would never come to fruition. Our work to preserve NFARS paid off and the Base has remained open.

Now, in demonstration of the important contribution to national security that NFARS provides, the Air Force has guaranteed that the 12 C-130H2 aircraft necessary to sustain the Base will be delivered by this July. To put this achievement into perspective, we must consider that the cargo planes were initially not scheduled to arrive until the summer of 2010. By pushing up the delivery date by two years, the Pentagon is exhibiting a renewed dedication to the Niagara Air Base.

Securing the C-130H2 planes two years ahead of schedule is very encouraging news for Western New York. I will continue to ensure that the Base remains both an engine of economic growth for the region and an asset to the nation’s defense structure for generations to come.

10 Responses to “Louise Slaughter (NY-28) on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station”

  1. Mike In WNY February 21, 2008 at 8:34 pm #

    Bacon? Do I smell bacon?

  2. STEEL February 21, 2008 at 11:02 pm #

    It is comforting to know that these planes will be available to fight off those Canadians once they invade due to the high sales taxes they are subject to in Erie County.

  3. Pauldub February 21, 2008 at 11:35 pm #

    No Mike, the heat you smell is probably a residual from the several deployments to Iraq. Ask the Gentleman from the base that just received a purple heart if that was part of a “Pork” project.

  4. Pauldub February 22, 2008 at 12:21 am #

    Sorry Mike, bad day at work. I know where you’re coming from, I just don’t hold some of the same viewpoints as you. I understand that when our elected officials fight for something that incurs government spending in their district, there are those who will automatically cry PORK.

  5. Pauldub February 22, 2008 at 12:23 am #

    And Steel, These are TRANSPORT planes, not fighters. They would be used to transport jobs out of the region due to high taxes perhaps.

  6. Eric P. February 22, 2008 at 7:36 am #

    These grocery-getters cost between 60 and 80 million a pop. Vague statements about how this improves our “security” or benefits the local economy don’t convince me that this is money well-spent. It certainly helps Lockheed.

    Military spending is so very out of control: this sort of bacon only makes us a party to the nonsense.

    Whether the Nia Falls base stays open really seems more a matter of electoral politics than National Security.

  7. Pauldub February 22, 2008 at 9:06 am #

    Eric – these are not “new” planes. These are older models coming from bases that are closing.

  8. hank February 22, 2008 at 11:57 am #

    Current price for a NEW one is $66.5 million (C-130J)
    C 130-H2’s are a bit older.

    Eric P—Compare military spending to social welfare spending–and make sure you include EVERY social welfare program of the US government, including social security,Medicare, Medicaid,AFDC,food stamps,Head Start,Section 8 housing, school lunch programs,—probably would take 2 days to gather all the data from the various cabinet agencies.

    then revisit your comment.

  9. Jon Splett February 22, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Seeing how 40% of the taxes revenue we pay goes to the military Hank, I think you might want to revist your own comment.
    The biggest pork project the feds have is the military.

  10. Pauldub February 22, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    The military is pork?
    Okay jon, do your homework and figure out how many jobs are in the military. count active, reserve, civil service. Count those employed in the various service industries. There is plenty of pork involved no doubt, but are you inferring it is all pork? And I would remind you (and Hank) of the old phrase “Figures lie, and liars figure” Search hard enough and you can find data to support almost any claim. Remember that Military spending includes the cost of everything from the paper that the enlistee signs, to the cost of his/her burial flag.

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