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Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has announced his commitment to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station. Panetta made the positive strokes at the air base in Western New York Thursday.

The Defense Secretary toured the base and spoke with members of the local delegation, including Representative Kathy Hochul who invited him to the base. She said she was especially pleased with his comments.

“We were just absolutely thrilled today not only did he have an hour long meeting with a few principals at the table who were speaking about the value and the merits of this base and how critically important it is to our community and the 3,500 jobs that rely on it. When he announced that he is committed to working with the congressional delegation to find a new mission that was music to our ears,” said Hochul.

The air base was recently the target of potential cutbacks and threats of closure.

Hochul said keeping the base open would be nothing but positive, as many stores and restaurants in Niagara Falls depend on business from those that work there. 

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