State legislators announce funding for local military assets

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ALBANY – State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-47, Rome, Assemblymen Anthony Brindisi, D-119, Utica, and Brian Miller, R-101, New Hartford, announced today that they have secured funding to support regional military assets.

The Mohawk Valley has been no stranger to losing a military asset. Griffiss Air Force Base was forced to shut down in the 1990s due to Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) cuts.

The Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, which employs approximately 1,204 civilians, military members and contractors and had an estimated $392.3 million economic impact in the 2017 fiscal year, has been threatened by previous BRAC cuts.

The funding announced today, includes: 

  • $500,000 for the Griffiss Local Development Corporation to help with the construction of a new headquarters location for NYSTEC;
  • $450,000 for Oneida County to help support an unmanned aerial systemstest facility; and
  • 50,000 to support the Central New York Defense Alliance, which helps to protect federal assets if a BRAC were to occur. 

“The military assets throughout our region have a tremendous impact locally, employing many people and helping to boost our economy,” said Griffo. “This funding will help us to protect those who work at these facilities, can lead to innovative and new ideas and will assist us in our efforts to safeguard the important military assets in the Mohawk Valley.” 

Brindisi said, “This funding will go a long way to help retain and enhance Rome Lab, DFAS, and the Eastern Air Defense Sector, all major employers in our region. In recent years, the funding we have provided has been used for valuable projects, including improving infrastructure in the Griffiss Business and Technology Park. Providing funding to protect our federal assets from possible budget cuts really will make a difference in expanding these economic assets for our region. If we don’t continue providing this funding, we could lose these agencies to other regions that pursue a more aggressive strategy.” 

“These installations play a very important role in our community. They employ hundreds of local residents and providing a large boost to the economy. We must continue the fight to protect their place in our region. I am pleased to say that these funds will help to keep a major employer in our area and keep the important work done at these locations in the capable hands of our skilled workers,” Miller added. 

“I want to thank Sen. Griffo and Assemblymen Brindisi and Miller for their efforts to secure this funding that will help protect one of Oneida County’s most valuable assets,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “This $1 million will not only empower the Central New York Defense Alliance to fortify the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome should it be threatened by BRAC, but will benefit other aspects of the Rome Business and Technology Park by supporting business growth and advancing our plans for an Unmanned Aerial Systems Innovation Center at Griffiss International Airport.” 

“We thank our partners in New York State government for assisting Griffiss Local Development Corporation in the construction of a new headquarters location for NYSTEC. Keeping a local technology company like NYSTEC at Griffiss Business and Technology Park and allowing them to expand will help bolster our efforts to strengthen ties with the Air Force Research Laboratory and the UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport. Together with NYSTEC we are solidifying our place as the cybersecurity heart of New York,” added Steven DiMeo, of the Griffiss Local Development Corporation.

Central New York Defense Alliance Executive Director Mary Carol Chruscicki said, “The efforts of the CNY Defense Alliance are possible because of the strong support from Sen. Griffo and Assemblymen Brindisi and Miller. The funding is critical to the successful execution of the strategy that is fundamental to the protection of our Department of Defense assets against a BRAC or other downsizing tactics.”

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