North Country Public Radio
Fort Drum was the last stop for the three New York lawmakers who hit the road yesterday to strengthen their arguments against cuts in military spending. Republican Representatives Elise Stefanik, John Katko, and Richard Hanna toured the base to show that support for Fort Drum extends beyond New York's North Country.
Stefanick said the visits to the New York Air National Guard's 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse and then to Fort Drum illuminate how the two military installations work together. Working together is also what the three New York Congressional representatives are doing now more than ever. “This is a new way of focusing on strengthening and protecting Fort Drum,” said Stefanik.
Stefanik explained this visit is in part a way to prepare for Fort Drum's listening session later this month in Watertown. Katko, Hanna, and Stefanik will be there in support of the base. Stefanik said she sees the upcoming listening session as an opportunity to show how important Fort Drum is to the local economy, the community, and national security. “This is not an issue that is just important to my district, given my role on the house armed services committee. It’s important to the state and to the nation so I’m excited to have such strong partners in upstate New York as we head into this listening session,” Stefanik said.
Katko pointed out the 174th depends on Fort Drum and Fort Drum depends on the 174th. That is especially true with the drone program. Katko also said both installations are at the cutting edge of what the new army will look like. The three lawmakers said the visits and the upcoming listening session will help bolster their arguments against cuts to the two military installations. The listening session is scheduled for March 20.