Assemblymember Sam Roberts (D,WF-Syracuse) announced $5 million in funding will be appropriated in the 2012-13 state budget to assist with military base retention efforts across New York State including the 174th National Guard Fighter Wing, which is stationed at the Hancock Air National Guard Base in Syracuse.
“This funding will help ensure the 174th National Guard Fighter Wing continues to call Central NY home,” Assemblymember Roberts said. “I’m proud that they play a major role in the defense of our nation and they are a critical component of our local and regional economy.”
Assemblymember Roberts recently wrote a letter to the governor in which he encouraged the creation of a task force to examine how to protect our bases and prevent further cuts. In his letter, he noted the many accomplishments of the 174th National Guard Fighter Wing, including the fact that they were the first to have pilots flying unmanned, remote-control MQ-9 Reaper planes over Afghanistan. This practice is one that enables pilots to pinpoint and hit targets from the safety of their base, keeping pilots out of combat zones and saving countless lives, added Assemblymember Roberts.
“The 174th National Guard Fighter Wing has emerged as a leader in its field,” Assemblymember Roberts said. “The fact that they are the first and only field training unit in the country using Reaper planes alone is reason enough to fight for their preservation.”
In addition to funds allocated by the final budget, the governor recently announced the initiation of a $500,000 economic impact study that will study growth opportunities and base retention strategies. The governor stated that military installations across the state account for more than 10,000 direct jobs and $1.9 billion in economic impact, and named Hancock Air National Guard Base as one of New York’s primary military facilities.