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Metroplex grant aids fight to keep military facilities

Wednesday, April 10, 2013
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— County officials are working to ensure that the Stratton Air National Guard Base stays put.

The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority approved a $25,000 grant Wednesday night to support the county’s military installations, including the base in Glenville, the Navy Operational Support Center across the runway and the Schenectady Army Reserve Center in Niskayuna.

The grant was awarded to the Schenectady Military Affairs Council, a group formed nearly a decade ago to advocate for the area’s military installations. The council also received a $125,000 state grant last fall for the same purpose.

The Daily Gazette reported in February that the future of Stratton remains uncertain in the face of sequestration, ongoing threats of cuts at the Department of Defense and discussions of a possible round of base closures in 2015.

In response, county economic development officials are gearing up to conduct a comprehensive economic development study of the air base, which employs nearly 2,000 and has an annual economic impact of $123 million on the Capital Region. But officials have agreed they need more than an economic defense to keep the base here, and they believe it lies in the base’s missions to Antarctica.

“The Stratton Air Base has a unique mission that is implemented with great skill by the members of the 109th Airlift Wing based in Glenville,” said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen. “Our base retention activities will continue to focus on the unique mission and the cost effectiveness of the Stratton Air Base. In addition, our Reserve Center in Glenville is almost brand new and the facility in Niskayuna is under construction, so these two key reserve centers are among the most modern in the military.”

The Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority approved a $25,000 grant Wednesday night to support the county’s military installations, including the base in Glenville, the Navy Operational Support Center across the runway and the Schenectady Army Reserve Center in Niskayuna.

The grant was awarded to the Schenectady Military Affairs Council, a group formed nearly a decade ago to advocate for the area’s military installations. The council also received a $125,000 state grant last fall for the same purpose.

The Daily Gazette reported in February that the future of Stratton remains uncertain in the face of sequestration, ongoing threats of cuts at the Department of Defense and discussions of a possible round of base closures in 2015.

In response, county economic development officials are gearing up to conduct a comprehensive economic development study of the air base, which employs nearly 2,000 and has an annual economic impact of $123 million on the Capital Region. But officials have agreed they need more than an economic defense to keep the base here, and they believe it lies in the base’s missions to Antarctica.

“The Stratton Air Base has a unique mission that is implemented with great skill by the members of the 109th Airlift Wing based in Glenville,” said Metroplex Chairman Ray Gillen. “Our base retention activities will continue to focus on the unique mission and the cost effectiveness of the Stratton Air Base. In addition, our Reserve Center in Glenville is almost brand new and the facility in Niskayuna is under construction, so these two key reserve centers are among the most modern in the military.”

 
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