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$7.7 Million in Funding for NFARS Program Further Establishes Base as BRAC-Proof

May 6, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.- Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced $7,700,000 in funding for construction of the Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) facilities at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS). The funding was included in H.R. 2029, FY2016 Military Construction & Veterans Affairs Appropriations, which passed the House today.

“The funding for the MQ-9 Reaper program further establishes NFARS as BRAC-proof,” said Congressman Collins. “Properly investing in our nation’s military is imperative to our national security. Having state-of-the-art remotely piloted aircraft missions originate from NFARS is a testament to the base’s infrastructure and the capabilities of the hardworking Western New Yorkers who help operate the base.”

“This federal investment reaffirms the goal of expanding the mission at the base and positioning the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station for a secure future in this community for years to come,” said Congressman Higgins, a member of the House Committees on Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs.

Congressman Collins and Congressman Higgins wrote to the Appropriations Committee to request the program’s full funding. Their letter can be read here.

The MQ-9 Reaper is the first RPA constructed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance and is primarily used overseas to collect intelligence and carry out precise military strikes. The current operations facility at NFARS was not constructed for RPA mission and is inadequate for this purpose.  The $7.7 million allocated in the President’s Budget would complete the conversion of the current facility into a fully functional MQ-9 Reaper support operations center, ground control station, squadron operations, simulator, and communications maintenance facility.  This project efficiently uses existing space and facilities to ensure all RPA facilities are under one roof.