Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $2.9 million in grants have been awarded to help local municipalities and community organizations support and strengthen New Yorks military installations in the face of looming defense cuts in Congress.
The Military Base Retention grants are a part of the state's efforts to safeguard New Yorks National Guard capabilities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and to protect the economic and employment opportunities that major military facilities provide across the state. Service members from each of New York's air bases were deployed during Hurricane Sandy.
"New York's military installations are a major driver of local economies, and we will fight to keep these bases strong and secure, right here in our state," Governor Cuomo said. "Throughout Hurricane Sandy and in the storm's aftermath, we saw time and time again our military personnel on the front line, helping residents, keeping our streets safe, and providing critical supplies to those in need. These grants will help communities across New York State join the state's efforts to preserve these important military installations as well as the thousands of jobs and the nearly $2 billion in economic impact supported by the bases."
New York States military installations continue to be threatened by federal budgetary constraints. The grants announced today will help promote, enhance and protect New Yorks bases. State military bases account for more than 10,000 direct jobs with direct wages of $688 million and $1.9 billion of economic impact.
Under Governor Cuomos leadership, we are using every tool possible to ensure that our military bases which are so vital to the security of our nation and the strength of our local economies stay here and grow here, said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams. These grants will help protect our military installations from threats of closure and preserve a critical source of jobs and economic activity.
The grants awarded and administered by Empire State Development will be given to the following organizations who will be advocating in support of their affiliated bases:
Use of Funds
Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization
FDRHP will use grant funds to expand and improve medical treatment for soldiers and their families on and around Fort Drum.
Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization
FDRLO will use grant funds to build and improve housing, transportation and education infrastructure surrounding Fort Drum and to promote the importance of the 10th Mountain Divisions mission and personnel.
Suffolk County Economic Development
Suffolk County will use grant funds to support the unique mission of the 106th Rescue Wing and expand the units interoperability with emergency responders in local and national disasters.
Hancock Field ANGB
CenterState CEO will use grant funds to promote the importance of the 174thAttack Wing to the national defense.
Niagara Falls ARS
Niagara County Center for Economic Development
Niagara County will use grant funds to promote the importance of the 914thand 107th Airlift Wings to the state and the nation and to support local workforce development in fields related to the units missions.
Niagara Falls ARS
Niagara Military Affairs Council
NIMAC will use grant funds to support planning, web development and events to advocate a strong future for the missions of the 914th and 107th Airlift Wings.
Central New York Defense Alliance
CNYDA will use grant funds to promote the importance of the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, NY to both the region and the nation.
Griffiss Institute will use grant funds to further develop and add to the presence of key Defense Department Information Analysis Centers in Mohawk Valley.
Griffiss Local Development Corporation
GLDC will use grant funds to aid in design and planning for a proposed expansion of the Griffiss Institute facility to enhance education and training opportunities in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, NY.
Mohawk Valley EDGE
Mohawk Valley EDGE will use grant funds to engage in building partnerships among public, private and academic stakeholders to enhance New York States cyber research capabilities in support of the Air Force Research Lab in Rome, NY.
Schenectady Military Affairs Council (Schenectady County Chamber Foundation)
SMAC will use grant funds to support the 109th Airlift Wings unique polar mission.
Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership
The Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership will use grant funds to assure the long-term sustainability of Watervliet Arsenals unique research and manufacturing capabilities.
Organizations receiving the grants can use funds to communicate the importance of local bases and their missions; improve existing military facilities; promote additional missions for military units based in New York; and conduct other efforts to sustain or expand the presence of military bases in New York. Grantees will also leverage local and private dollars to further expand their efforts
Grants may not be used to pay, retain or hire lobbyists or lobbying firms, and organizations receiving grants may not have lobbyists on their executive staff or board.
Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station
Senator George D. Maziarz said, "I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for his partnership in securing this vital state aid to support the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Now, more than ever, we need to support ongoing efforts to strengthen our airbase so it continues to play a key role in our national defense as well as to the economy of Western New York. Our brave citizen-soldiers and all the men and women employed at the airbase deserve this commitment and our support."
Assembly Member John Ceretto said, "These grants to the Niagara County Center for Economic Development and Niagara Military Affairs Council are important steps to retaining the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. I am very grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo for recognizing the importance of the Air Base to our local economy and this partnership with these two very important local agencies to ensure the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station remains in Niagara County for years to come."
William Ross, Chairman of the Niagara County Legislature said, "We thank Gov. Cuomo for his leadership and foresight in developing this grant and awarding these funds to Niagara County. Twice we have been successful in convincing federal officials that the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) is not only important to our nations security and preparedness, but also to our regions economy. This grant ensures we will continue to have the resources to develop and make that case and to continue military operations at the NFARS. I am grateful to the Governor and all my colleagues on the legislature who worked so hard to help secure this grant."
Merrell Lane, Chairman, Niagara Military Affairs Council, said, "We applaud the Governors foresight and action to work with those communities and community action groups that support New York Military Bases which are a vital element to our nations defense as well as the New York economy. Since 1995, the Niagara Military Affairs Council has actively supported the men and women stationed at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. We look forward to this continuing partnership with Governor Cuomo and his staff to ensure the long-term viability and strength of the Base, as well as the two Units at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station."
Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Fort Drum is a huge part of the North Country community and economy and making sure Albany and the rest of New York realizes its significance has been one of my top priorities. The troops of the 10th Mountain Division are the tip of the spear in our nation's defense, the post is the North Countrys largest employer and the soldiers and families of Fort Drum are our friends and neighbors. Now, with Governor Cuomo's leadership and this vital funding, we'll be in a better position to share that story with the rest of the nation, too, and help strengthen and protect this vital asset to New York's future."
Assembly Member Addie Russell said, "The longstanding leadership of FDRLO and more recently FDRHPO have unquestionably contributed significantly to the growth and expansion of community services and resources, critical to meeting the needs of our civilian and military families, the Fort Drum Region, the and 10th Mountain Division. The announcement today that the state will provide grant funding so that they can continue their work in support of retaining Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division is not only great news for the region but a testament to the quality and overall effectiveness of the FDRLO and FDRHPO."
Elizabeth Fipps, Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization Chairperson, said "On behalf of the FDRLOs Board, staff, and membership I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his recognition and the importance he sees in our local effort to support Fort Drum. As a defense community we have and continue support Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division and know how vital they and Fort Drum are to our Nations security. In these times of uncertainty regarding future Defense priorities, we look forward to being an integral part of the Governors effort to secure our current and we hope expanded military mission and presence in New York State and the North Country."
Carl McLaughlin, Executive Director of the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization said, "These grants are part of Governor Cuomos commitment to ensure a continued strong military presence at Fort Drum. These grants assure that we, FDRLO and FDRHPO, will continue to promote and make known to all and particularly those part of the larger national defense community, how vital Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division are to the nation. Fort Drum and the 10th MD are truly planned, positioned, and proven and the turn to unit for whatever our national needs are. And, Fort Drum is also an essential part of the social and economic fabric of the North Country that helps makes us one of New York States exceptional communities."
Thomas H. Carman, Chairman, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, said, "We are so pleased that NYS approved this grant application and recognizes how important the FDRHPO is in serving the needs of Fort Drum and this unique military/community partnership. The work of the FDRHPO while focused on Fort Drum also benefits our entire North Country community."
Senator Joe Griffo said, "In addition to the important role it plays in keeping America safe and defending our county, the Rome Laboratory is a major part of the Mohawk Valley, supporting hundreds of jobs and investment in Rome and throughout the region. I applaud Governor Cuomos work to keep these bases safe from federal cuts, and these grants will enable local organizations to fight on behalf of the Rome Lab."
Assembly Member Anthony J. Brindisi said, "These grants will help bring public, private and academic stakeholders together to bolster New York States cyber research capabilities in support of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome. These projects will also strengthen New York States role as a leader in cybersecurity, while at the same time enhance our state and regions economy, and its position working to avoid future defense cuts in New York State."
Bill Wolf, Executive Director, Griffiss Institute, said, "We are grateful to New York State for the partnership and resources to continue expanding the Information Technology cluster in the Mohawk Valley. This grant will allow the Griffiss Institute to help support the expansion of the Cybersecurity Information Analysis Center that was recently awarded to Quanterion Solutions and assist them in securing award of the Homeland Security Information Analysis Center designation."
Steve DiMeo President of Mohawk Valley EDGE said, "WE thank Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature for earmarking funds to help fortify and enhance the value of critical military functions throughout New York State. Todays announcement of funding to EDGE and GLDC will support plans to expand the Griffiss Institute facility to accommodate the growing opportunities in education and training, cloud computing, and cyber research activities. This is a further indication of Governor Cuomos commitment to AFRL Rome and targeting strategic State investments that further enhances the robust ecosystem that makes New York a leading center of cyber security and information technology capability."
Mary Carol Chrusicicki, Executive Director of The Central New York Defense Alliance, said, "We are grateful to the Governor and New York State for this grant. CNYDA is eager to continue the work of promoting and developing New York and AFRL Rome as a Cyber and Information Technology Center of Excellence. New York has an impressive ecosystem of strong networks of small and large defense contractors, high tech companies, and public and private colleges and universities. This funding will allow us to protect and preserve our stronghold."
Stratton Air National Guard Base
Senator Hugh T. Farley said, "The 109th Airlift Wing provides a valuable and unique service to our nation, and we are very proud of their efforts and accomplishments. They are also a valuable part of our local community and economy. I applaud the efforts of Governor Cuomo and the community to support and retain the Stratton Air Base and the 109th Airlift Wing."
Assembly Member James Tedisco said, "The 109th Airlift Wing at the Stratton Air National Guard Base in Glenville is the only facility in the United States that provides air cargo lift capability to polar destinations. In addition to the bases strategic importance, it is a vital economic engine for the Capital Region. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, this grant will help continue New Yorks commitment to the 109th Airlift Wing."
Chuck Steiner, President and CEO of The Chamber of Schenectady County said, "We are extremely grateful for Governor Cuomos recognition of the importance of the Stratton Air National Guard base to the economy of both Schenectady County and the entire Capital Region. We worked closely with Schenectady County's economic development team led by Metroplex to secure this funding that will be used to protect missions and jobs at this key military installation located in our community."
Judy Dagostino, Chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature said, "We thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this Statewide effort to protect the missions and important jobs at key military installations including our own Stratton Air National Guard Base. This State funding is essential to our efforts to protect more than 2,000 jobs at military facilities in Schenectady County."
Senator Kenneth LaValle said, "Gabreski Airport and the 106th Rescue Wing are critical to search and rescue missions. State funding will help ensure the 106th and its highly trained crews will remain here in Suffolk County."
Assembly Member Fred W. Thiele, Jr., said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his dedication to the 106th Rescue Wing. Long Island and all of New York State benefits from the dedication and bravery of the men and women of the 106th and I am truly thankful for the efforts of all the local representatives who have fought so hard for the 106th Air National Guard. New York residents will continue to benefit from their security and rescue capabilities."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "The 106th Rescue Wing has an important role in the defense of our nation, and is an equally important community resource as evidenced in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. We are pleased and thankful to Governor Cuomo for the $126,000 matching grant awarded by the New York State Empire Development Corporation. These funds will help to ensure they have the communication tools needed to enhance their domestic response capabilities. During Super Storm Sandy, the 106th Rescue Wing provided vital resources to Suffolk County in the form of personnel to assist the Suffolk County Police Department and town and village Police Departments. As we needed all hands on deck, the 106th Rescue Wing truly lived up to the task and we are thankful for the partnership in helping to provide public safety for Suffolk County residents."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "I am pleased to see that the Watervliet Arsenal was selected to receive this grant money which will help the Arsenal sustain its long-term research and manufacturing capabilities. Further investment in the Arsenal not only strengthens our community, but our nation's military at large."
Assembly Majority Leader Ron Canestrari said, "This is great news. I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the improtant work the Partnership does to create and attract quality jobs for people in the Capital Region. This grant will build upon the investments we've made and strengthen the public-private partnerships that are thriving at the Watervliet Arsenal."
Peter Gannon, President, Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership, said, "This funding is critical to mapping out the future of the public-private partnership we have successfully developed at the Watervliet Arsenal over the past ten years. New York State has been, and continues to be, a critically important partner to our success in attracting high tech research and manufacturing companies to fill underutilized space. In turn, these private companies help to pay operating costs at the facility, which ensures the continuation of the military mission at Watervliet. I want to commend Governor Cuomo and his team for their commitment to regional economic development initiatives and for supporting important redevelopment opportunities like the work being done by the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership."
Hancock Field ANGB
Senator David J. Valesky said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for recognizing the critical service that the brave men and women in the 174th Attack Wing provide for our nation. Our servicemen and women, and the units in and bases on which they serve deserve our full support."
Assembly Member Sam Roberts said, "Supporting the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base is not only important to our nations defense, but also critical to safeguard the hundreds of jobs connected to this base here in Central NY. The 174th National Guard Fighter Wing stationed at this base has been a leader in our nations defense. Preserving New Yorks military bases is vital for the proper training of our brave young women and men in the military so that they may defend our country and return home safely."
Robert Simpson, President of CenterState CEO, said, "The 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse plays a pivotal role in supporting our national security, while generating a local economic impact of more than $89 million, annually. It is imperative that the state maintain a unified strategy to ensure the long-term viability of our states military installations. I commend the Governor for his leadership in supporting these important economic drivers of our community."