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Senators pushing for KC-135 simulator at Niagara Falls air base

Chris Caya WBFO News

The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station would be better protected from a future round of base closings under a plan unveiled Monday. Outside the base, U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said they are pushing to bring a new flight simulator to the base for its new fleet of KC-135 air refueling tankers.

"Now we have to ensure that we bring a KC-135 simulator to NFARS as well, so that not only the 914th, but also other units in the region, and throughout the United States, can train for this mission here," Gillibrand said.   

The senator's plan includes a new fitness center for the base to help keep reservists "mission ready."

In February, the U.S. Air Force announced that it was transferring eight KC-135 tankers to Niagara Falls to replace the base's fleet of C-130s that was recently retired.   

Schumer said a simulator was already in the works for the recently retired C-130 aircraft. 

"As I understand it, there's money for the 130 simulator, but now we want to switch it over to the 135. The biggest problem we face there is getting the building to fit the 135 simulator and making modifications in the building," Schumer said.

Schumer said the fit issue is a "problem that we can deal with."