Griffo, Brindisi call for action to support New York’s Defense Installations
Senator Joseph A. Griffo and Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi have joined forces to encourage state leaders to ramp up efforts to protect Upstate New York defense installations from possible cuts in an anticipated Base Realignment and Closure process by the Department of Defense. In letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders, Griffo and Brindisi made a strong case that the state must move quickly to assume leadership of a pro-active effort to support the installations in New York State, which include Fort Drum in Watertown and the Rome-area assets that include EADS, DFAS and the Air Force Research Lab and the Air Reserve Station in Niagara Falls among others .
“For as long as there has been an America, defense-related installations in New York State have served the cause of freedom with efficiency, effectiveness and honor. As legislators whose districts include communities with strong defense-related installations and employers, we are urging that this year’s state budget process recognize the need for action that will commit sizeable resources to the upcoming round of Base Realignment and Closure activities that will be undertaken by the Department of Defense,” Griffo and Brindisi wrote, noting that states such as Ohio are already obligating amounts of $10 million to defend or enhance facilities. “The people of New York who look to us for leadership require a strong response to show we are responding to the challenge of protecting high-value defense facilities that should be preserved and enhanced to better protect the people of this nation.”
“Our region is one where past BRAC efforts themselves have shown the value of our workforce, and the importance to the installations as they exist,” they wrote. “However, understanding that fiscal imperatives at all levels of government are requiring new rounds of scrutiny, New York State must be prepared to devote expertise and effective intervention to preserve and protect the installations that exist, not only for the sake of the regional economy, but because they are vital to the security of our country, or to the most efficient manner of conducting Department of Defense operations.”
Griffo and Brindisi called for a partnership to support the vital facilities. “This is an issue that transcends the routine divisions between legislative philosophies or political parties. Not only do the communities in which these facilities are located need the state to take a lead role, the American people who are so well served by the installations in New York need us to take a strong, active role to ensure that the right steps are taken to protect and preserve our defense facilities.”