Senate Approves $9.4M for YARS Firing Range

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to allocate $9.4 million to upgrade the indoor firing range at Youngstown Air Reserve Station. The funding was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report for fiscal 2016, which passed the Senate by a 70-27 vote.

“The Youngstown Air Reserve Station has become a model for other air reserve stations throughout the country, but if we want to maintain this level of high performance, we must upgrade this firing range facility,” U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement announcing the funding.

“This critical funding would help to ensure that our reservists in Youngstown are equipped with the skills needed to carry out their operations,” he continued. “I’m pleased that this funding authorization has passed the Senate and urge the president to reconsider his veto threat.”

President Obama has threatened to veto the legislation over language allowing Congress to bypass spending caps it put in place for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1. White House spokesman Josh Earnest earlier this week called it “an irresponsible way for funding our core national defense priorities.”

In a separate statement, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, pointed out the current firing range is 30 years old and doesn’t meet current safety standards.

“Our air men and women deserve the most up-to-date, effective training facility possible to ensure that they are prepared for future missions,” he said. “With this funding, YARS will have a state-of-the-art facility that will give those serving our nation the opportunity to test their skills during training.”

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.