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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Collins announces plan for $14 Million upgrade at Niagara Falls airbase

All WNY News     Thursday, May 25, 2017    

PRESS RELEASE



NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION -- Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today is announcing that the Air Force Reserve Command's (AFRC) Military Construction Program FY18 budget estimates includes a plan to allocate $14 million for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) during FY19. The ARFC's plan to set aside $14 million in FY19 military construction program spending will assist NFARS in building a state-of-the-art fitness facility for the men and women serving within the 914th Airlift Wing and the Air National Guard 107th Airlift Wing.

"I am thrilled to see the Air Force has moved up their timeline for funding for a new fitness facility at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station," said Congressman Chris Collins. "The men and women at the base deserve access to quality facilities to make sure they are as prepared as possible when called upon to serve. The current facilities at the base are outdated and do not meet the standard we expect for our service members.  This is yet another positive step to enhance the base and protect its future here in Western New York."

The ARFC originally intended to submit a request to fund a new NFARS' fitness facility in its FY21 budget plans, but Congressman Collins had concerns that the current NFARS' fitness facility had grown outdated and would no longer able to support the needs of the base. In a letter sent to the ARFC on February 1st, 2017, Congressman Collins outlined his concerns and formally requested a budget request for a new fitness facility to be prioritized far sooner than FY21. Read the full letter here.

One concern Congressman Collins had was the current facility does not have an indoor track. Oftentimes, inclement weather conditions during Western New York's winter months would force service members to delay portions of their physical fitness tests for up to six months. Congressman Collins felt this "has a direct effect on readiness, training requirements, and time." In addition, he believed the current facility had become physically dangerous due to a lack of safe clearances. In effect, the facility's "space for equipment is inadequate to maintain effective safety protocols and NFARS is forced to close base roads for the use of fitness testing during the summer months."
For a full breakdown of the Air Force Reserve's FY18 Military Construction Program Budget Estimates, click here.

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