09.24.19

DURING PERSONAL MEETING WITH SECRETARY OF THE AIR FORCE NOMINEE, BARBARA BARRETT, SCHUMER PUSHES TO GET SHOVELS IN THE GROUND ON NEW ROME LAB PERIMETER FENCE; SENATOR SAYS AIR FORCE MUST GET PROJECT UNDERWAY ASAP TO ENHANCE SECURITY AT WORLD-CLASS DEFENSE LAB

The Air Force Research Laboratory In Rome, New York Is DoD’s Premier Research Organization For Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence Technologies

In A Personal Meeting With Barbara Barrett, Nominee To Become Secretary Of The Air Force, Schumer Calls On Air Force To Get Shovels In The Ground Without More Delay

Schumer To Feds: Rome Lab, The Epicenter Of Cyber-Defense And Cutting-Edge Communications, Can’t Go Without Anti-Terrorism Protection

During a personal meeting with Barbara Barrett last Thursday, the nominee to become the next U.S. Secretary of the Air Force, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the Air Force to quickly initiate construction of Rome Lab’s new perimeter fence. Schumer recently received word that construction of this sorely-needed and already-funded project, which would enhance anti-terrorism perimeter security and entry point control at Rome Lab, could be delayed again, and is urging the Air Force to do everything possible to ensure it isn’t, starting by getting a vendor on contract to begin construction. Schumer said that ensuring the safety and security of Rome Lab and its personnel is critical to its important mission and called for work to begin on the perimeter fence as soon as possible. Schumer successfully fought to include $14.2 million in federal funding for the Rome Lab perimeter fence in the Fiscal Year 2019 Defense Appropriations bill, setting the stage for construction to get underway.

“Rome Lab is at the vanguard of the fight to counter hacking and other cyber threats in the United States, as well as an essential driver of the Mohawk Valley economy. We have to make sure this facility is protected from potential threats,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why during my meeting with Barbara Barrett, nominee to become Secretary of the Air Force, I made it clear that the construction of a perimeter fence for Rome Lab can’t be put off any longer. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to get this project off the ground and won’t stop fighting until work is completed and the lab is secure.”

Schumer said the proposed construction of the project would comply with Department of Defense (DOD) antiterrorism protection requirements by constructing a site security fence around the perimeter of Rome Lab that is equipped with associated lighting, video surveillance, card controlled personnel entry access gates, and visitor control entry point to mitigate physical security threats to the installation. Schumer explained that an adequate and secure location is required to protect Rome Lab personnel left vulnerable to potential terrorist type activities, active shooters, and other criminal activity.

Located in Oneida County, one of Rome Lab’s primary focuses is gathering and processing cyber intelligence. Since 1997, it has been the USAF’s “Superlab” and is considered the nation’s premier research organization for Command, Control, Communications, Cyber and Intelligence (C4I) technologies. The lab focuses on developing information technology for air, space and ground systems, in addition to partnering with other federal agencies, universities, private industry and other state and local governments.

Rome Lab is also a source of growth for the regional economy and a major source of employment. According to the U.S. Air Force’s 2017 economic impact analysis, Rome Lab employed over 1,200 workers with an annual payroll of $140 million and generated over $392 million in regional economic activity last year. The U.S. Air Force’s economic impact study can be found here. Because of Rome Lab’s strong commitment to excellence in developing and enhancing this nation’s cybersecurity infrastructure, as well as its commitment to employing local residents with good-paying jobs, Schumer has long fought to ensure Rome Labs has what it needs to succeed and maintain its strong workforce.

In the Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 defense budgets, Schumer helped deliver $243 million and $245 million for Rome Lab’s operations and personnel, respectively. That funding included over $13 million directly secured by Schumer for Rome Lab to establish critical components of its Quantum Computing Center of Excellence. The Lab is using the funding to create an “open campus” ecosystem where researchers from the Air Force, Department of Defense (DOD), government, industry, small business community, and academia can collaborate to solve different computing problems using quantum computing technology, making it a leader in this emerging field.

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