Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 20, 2013

Wheatfield officials call state audit of town finances 'routine'

(Continued)

WHEATFIELD —

In other town news, Cliffe is joining a contingent of local dignitaries in a trip to Washington, D.C. to lobby on behalf of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Cliffe and representatives from Niagara Falls and Niagara County will make the two-day trip today to meet with both elected national leaders and military chiefs at the Pentagon.

He said the contingent can accomplish a lot in ensuring some sort of mission for the stationed troops, though it won't be at the same level as the base has previously experienced.

A recent report confirmed the level of C-130 aircraft at the base would decrease from 11 to nine this year and remain the same through 2014 as the 914th Airlift Wing faces reduced force.

The 107th Airlift Wing was removed from its mission and had its planes transferred to another base last year as part of budget cuts to military spending. It could receive a new mission soon, possibly involving unmanned remote aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones.

"We're all going because we believe the continuation of this base ... is critical to the prosperity of our area and our county," Cliffe said. "And secondary to that, if we have a natural disaster in this area, or even an unnatural disaster ... it would be good for us to have these people right here. We wouldn't have to wait for help to arrive, we have trained assistance in our own backyard."

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