- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - Authorities say the U.S. Air Force will transfer eight KC-135 refueling aircraft to the Niagara Falls air base in a decision seen as important to the future of the facility.

Members of New York’s congressional delegation who’ve been lobbying for new missions for the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station announced the decision Thursday.

The future of the base is an ongoing concern in western New York, where it has 3,000 full- and part-time employees. So far it has been spared in the Pentagon’s military downsizing, but supporters say more missions will improve its chances of surviving future base closings.

The base, which houses U.S. Air Force Reserve and National Guard units, had an earlier KC-135 tanker mission that ended several years ago.

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