Written by the Staff Report for the Watertown Daily Times on September 29, 2020

FORT DRUM — The north country’s military base has received more than $21 million to begin construction of a new unmanned aerial vehicle hangar, U.S. Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand, both D-N.Y., announced Tuesday. Rep. Elise M. Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, also announced the funding, which has been acquired through the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

It was announced in December that Fort Drum would be receiving the funds.

The hangar will modernize Fort Drum’s base infrastructure, expand capabilities available on base and boost the north country economy, the senators said in a prepared statement.

The senators advocated for the $21,731,500 funding to be included in the Fiscal Year 2020 bipartisan omnibus spending package.

Structural Associates Inc., East Syracuse, will soon begin construction on the project, which will create additional facilities to house and service tactical UAVs, as well as expand the various capabilities available to Fort Drum soldiers. The estimated completion date for the project is Sept. 25, 2022.

“This new UAV Hangar at Fort Drum will not only expand the base’s capacity to house more tactical aircraft, but it will also be a crucial new asset to enhance Fort Drum’s capabilities in this burgeoning and vital field,” Sen. Schumer said in the statement. “This project will greatly enhance Fort Drum’s capabilities, all while bringing good-paying construction jobs to the North Country, boosting the regional economy when jobs are needed the most.”

The senators explained that because it lacked the requisite facilities, Fort Drum has been incapable of accommodating three new tactical UAV platoons. The soon-to-begin hangar project would address this issue by constructing a new maintenance hangar for the platoons, new airfield pavements to include a hangar access apron, an extension to the installation’s existing runway, a taxiway, overrun area, new storage facilities, new vehicle parking space and a new takeoff area.

“New York houses some of the nation’s most important national security assets and the new UAV hanger is critical to Fort Drum’s mission to ensure personnel are prepared for duty with tactical aircraft. I’m proud to have delivered these funds to Fort Drum so that the construction of the new hangar can begin,” said Sen. Gillibrand, who is also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, in the statement.

Rep. Stefanik said in a prepared statement that the construction of the new hangar will further assist Fort Drum with its military readiness capabilities.

“I look forward to seeing its completion,” she said. “I will continue to advocate on behalf of the soldiers and families at Fort Drum.”

You can read the full article at https://www.nny360.com/news