The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that determined there will be no military base realignments or closures in 2014. It also increased funding for Rome lab by $33 million.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that determined there will be no military base realignments or closures in 2014.
It also increased funding for Rome lab by $33 million.
The passing of $638 billion National Defense Authorization Act prohibits a BRAC round from being proposed, planned or carried out, and means that Rome lab, the Eastern Air Defense Sector and the Rome Defense Finance and
Accounting Services at the former Griffiss Air Force Base might be able to breathe easier for at least another year.
“This legislation is a great success for Rome and our defense assets in Upstate New York,” said Rep. Richard Hanna, R - Barneveld, in a news release. “It means no BRAC in 2014 and authorizes a significant funding boost for Rome lab, recognizing the important high-tech work being done in our community.”
The Senate measure is expected to be considered this fall.
Local officials began bracing for the possibility of a new BRAC round after it was called for in President Obama’s 2014 budget. According to documents released by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in April, the actual
closing of bases would involve a multiyear process that would not start until 2016 after the economy is projected to have more fully recovered.
In preparation for a possible upcoming BRAC round, more than $2 million in state funds have gone toward making the military installations at Griffiss more secure, enhancing regional cybersecurity initiatives and strengthening the connection between Rome lab and the community.
In the 1990s, the Mohawk Valley was hammered when a BRAC round shuttered Griffiss Air Force Base where 6,000 military personnel and civilians worked. The local economy, and especially that of Rome, was decimated as thousands of jobs disappeared and the families they supported packed their bags and moved.