Build and They Will Come

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) and Rep. John Hall (D-N.Y.) announced inclusion of $3.75 million in the Fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill to cover an aircraft conversion facility at Stewart Air National Guard Base to position the base to receive C-17 airlifters. The Air Force last month named Stewart as one of the potential beddown locations for C-17s. And, shortly before that announcement, New York’s Senators, Charles Schumer (D) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D) reportedly were working on similar funding in the Senate version of the bill. In a joint statement with Hall, Hinchey said, “The replacement of the aging fleet of C-5A transport planes is essential to the base’s future. … Upgrading to the more efficient and reliable C-17 has been one of my top priorities.” Hall said that gaining C-17s would “secure the future of the 105th Airlift Wing and potentially affect the lives of thousands who live in the area.”