Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A South Buffalo native who was captured by the Japanese during World War II and died while still in captivity will finally be interred in Western New York, decades later. The remains of Coast Guard Lieutenant Thomas James Eugene Crotty, known by friends and loved ones as "Jimmy," were returned Friday in a solemn ceremony at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Joined by members of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer stood outside the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Monday, urging fellow federal lawmakers to approve $50 million for several capital and security upgrades he says are critical to the base and its employees.

Business and environmental groups are not always on the same side, but when it comes to Lake Ontario’s shores, there is some common ground.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The island of Puerto Rico faces months of cleaning up and rebuilding following Hurricane Maria. On Thursday, 125 members of the New York Army National Guard flew out of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, along with supplies that will go toward the ongoing relief effort in the U.S. territory.

WBFO File Photo

President Donald Trump's latest federal budget proposal, released on Tuesday, increases overall military spending but also recommends a new round of base closings. But advocates for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station are not panicking just yet.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A renaming ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station for one of the two units that call the base home. What was previously known as the 107th Airlift Wing is now officially the 107th Attack Wing.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A new era at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station has officially begun. The 914th Tactical Airlift Wing hosted a ceremony Thursday to welcome the first of eight KC-135 Stratotankers that will operate from the local installation.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Opponents of a proposed wind turbine project along the Lake Ontario shoreline claim the lobbying firm representing the energy company behind that project is also supporting an interest that may be seeking to put the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station out of commission.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station would be better protected from a future round of base closings under a plan unveiled Monday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

For more than 40 years, people living in Niagara Falls and other parts of Niagara County could see C-130 Hercules aircraft in the skies on a regular basis. That came to an end Monday, as four of the planes took off for an overseas assignment for the last time.

136th Airlift Squadron

Military C-130 transport planes have been flying out of the Niagara Falls Air reserve Station for more than 40 years. That ends today when four of the aircraft leave on what will be the final C-130 deployment for the 914th Airlift Wing. 

WBFO News File Photo

Saying that it has too many bases, the Pentagon is suggesting that some should be closed. However, there is pressure in Congress against closing any bases, like the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

WBFO file photo

Federal lawmakers representing New York State say jobs at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will be better protected, with the U.S. Air Force sending a new mission to the local installation.

New York State Senate

Efforts to improve services for veterans and ensure the future of military bases in upstate New York were key topics Wednesday as the chairman of the State Senate's Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs toured the region.

Staff Sgt. Dan Lanphear / U.S. Air Force

As the U.S. Air Force expands its air refueling mission with the new KC-46 Pegasus, the plane’s predecessor – the KC-135 Stratotanker – will need to find a new home. Officials and advocates in Western New York hope that home will be the Niagara Falls Air Base.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A small group of protestors lined up outside the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Wednesday. They were speaking out against the use of drones by the U.S. military, flown overseas and used in attacks while operated from domestic sites including the local air base.

Lawmakers work to protect Niagara Falls air base

Mar 17, 2015
WBFO News File Photo

With the prospect of another base closing commission in the air in Washington, Niagara County is being pro-active in getting out its message of the importance of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

Falls air base says goodbye to C-130s

Sep 26, 2014
File photo

An era came to an end Thursday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Members of the New York National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing made their final flight in a C-130 transport plane.

Solar plan proposed for Niagara Falls Air Base

Sep 26, 2014
Chris Caya/WBFO news

A new mission could be coming to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. As part of President Obama's recently announced initiative to advance solar deployment and energy efficiency, the base could become a training site for veterans seeking a career in the growing field.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

U.S. Air Force pilots from around the world will soon be traveling to Niagara Falls for their annual training. Local elected officials and military brass broke ground Tuesday on a new flight simulator at the air base.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

An investigation is underway into what is being called an accidental shooting at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on Saturday night.

File photo

A protest against the military use of drones was held Friday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

WBFO News file photo

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is investigating a suspicious package that arrived around 2 p.m. Tuesday.  The package prompted base officials to initiate standard emergency protocols to secure personnel and property on the installation.

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta offered encouraging words after he toured the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Thursday. In a speech delivered to hundreds of base personnel,  Panetta said that he was"committed" to protecting the base and finding a new mission for its employees.

"Let me be very clear. The Department of Defense is committed to protecting New York's Air National Guard. It's the largest in the country. I think it's one of the best. And I also want to make clear that we are committed to maintaining this base for the future," Panetta said.

House approves flight simulator for Falls base

Jun 1, 2012

More good news for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station emerged from the House of Representatives last night.

The House approved the Military Construction Appropriations bill which set aside $6.1 million to establish a C-130 flight simulator at the Falls base.

The simulator would be the first constructed in the northeast and would serve as a training tool for the six C-130 Air Wings throughout the region.

The move appears to bolster the fortunes of the base, which was projected to endure major cuts to its mission during Pentagon budget discussions.

Senate vote boosts Niagara Falls base

May 25, 2012

A rare showing of bi-partisan support in Washington may benefit the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

By unanimous vote, a spending plan was approved Thursday by the Senate Armed Services Committee that would fund the continued operation of the 107th Airlift Wing at the Falls base.

A similar bill was passed earlier by the House Armed Services Committee.

The Pentagon had proposed to trim Air National Guard operations in Niagara Falls and around the country before Governors and lawmakers offered staunch opposition.

WBFO News file photo

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the Pentagon intends to restore some of its planned job cuts in the Air National Guard.  Panetta sent a letter to Capitol Hill Tuesday, saying nearly 2,200 of the planned 5,100 jobs slated for elimination will be spared. 

That could be good news for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, where 845 jobs in the 107th Airlift Wing are in jeopardy.  The Pentagon says the restored jobs will be in units like the 107th that fly C-130 cargo planes.  But it's unclear which units will be spared. 

File Photo / WBFO, AM970 News

Questions are being raised concerning the rejection by the Air Force of the Council of Governors Plan to preserve jobs and missions at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

A memo issued by the Air Force appears to use misleading information to undermine efforts to save Air National Guard jobs at the station and to establish a new mission for the 107th Airlift Wing. The Air Force memo focuses on scenarios not indicated in the Governors Plan, including the realignment of F-16 fighter planes, an issue not connected with the Falls base.

A proposal to give the 107th Airlift Wing at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station another mission has been rejected by the Air Force.  The proposal was in response to a Defense Department plan that cuts the mission of the 107th, threatening 845 jobs at the air base. 

Merrell Lane, Chair of the Niagara Military Affairs Council, insists it is not the end of the story.

Pentagon reviews plans for 107th Airlift Wing

Mar 21, 2012

The future may not be so bleak for the 107th Airlift Wing's mission at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

At a Washington hearing yesterday, Pentagon officials told lawmakers they are willing to revisit plans to drastically trim the Air National Guard, a proposal which currently calls for the elimination of the 107th in Niagara Falls.

The Council of Governors, which influences the role of the National Guard, wants to assign the 107th to a spy-plane mission.

The move could save hundreds of jobs at the base, Niagara County's largest employer.