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Schumer: As The Nation’s Premier Research Organization For Command, Control, Cyber And Intelligence Technologies, The Air Force Research Laboratory In Rome, NY Is An Invaluable Element Of The U.S. Air Force Research & Development Enterprise, Focusing On Gathering & Processing Cyber Intelligence

Senator Has Pushed Continuously For DoD Top Brass To Visit Rome Lab In Person & Tour Facilities Boosted By Federal Investment 

Schumer: Visit From General Bunch Demonstrates the Importance of Rome Lab’s Role In Supporting and Advancing our National Security

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today confirmed that Commander of the Air Force Material Command, General Arnold W. Bunch Jr. will visit Rome Lab on February 22nd. General Bunch’s visit to get an overview of Rome Lab’s operations, will show Air Force Material Command how federal investment into the Lab has contributed to the nation’s cyber defense network and helped to establish Rome as a leader in the military community in gathering cyber intelligence. Schumer has continuously called for top Department of Defense (DoD) officials to visit the first-rate facility and said that Rome Lab’s essential work in serving as a research and development, communications and strategic planning facility for U.S. Air Force (USAF) personnel has allowed it to continue providing good-paying, high-tech jobs to hundreds of airmen and civilians in the Mohawk Valley.

“In an era of constant threat of cyber-attack, Rome Lab is at the vanguard of countering these threats. It is also an economic engine for the Mohawk Valley, employing over 1,200 talented intelligence and communications personnel,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I made it clear to Secretary of Defense Austin that he needs to be a partner in keeping Rome Lab at the epicenter of cyber-defense and cutting-edge communications. General Bunch’s visit to Rome Lab will give him the chance to see, in person, the work this first-rate facility is doing to protect our nation’s cyber infrastructure, as well as the innovation and spin-off economic activity the Mohawk Valley has come to enjoy as a result of the Air Force’s presence.”

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. Schumer has been especially supportive of the Lab’s quantum computing research in recent years, helping secure tens of millions of dollars that helped fund the ‘Quantum Information Science Innovation Center’ in Rome, which opened earlier this year. The “open campus,” also known as The Innovare Advancement Center, is a collaboration between researchers from the Air Force, Department of Defense (DOD), government, industry, small business community, and academia. Additionally, Schumer announced in 2019 that Rome Lab would serve as DOD’s leading representative on an initiative tasked with promoting the quantum computing industry nationwide.

Leader Schumer’s legislative agenda also keeps Rome Lab’s and the surrounding community and its innovative work at the forefront. In addition to Leader Schumer’s support for the Air Force research and development funding, Leader Schumer introduced the Endless Frontier Act (EFA), which seeks to surge federal funding into the innovation economy, including quantum computing, cybersecurity, and other critical technologies central to U.S. competitiveness and national security. EFA’s objective is to keep the United States as the unequivocal global leader in innovation by investing in scientific research, education and training, domestic manufacturing, and technology entrepreneurship to the tune of over $100 billion over five years. 

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 2020 economic impact analysis, Rome Lab employed nearly 1,200 workers with an annual payroll of over $150 million and generated over $500 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 Lab has what it needs to succeed and maintain its strong workforce.

Early last year, Schumer helped to secure a $13.15 million Army Corps contract to construct perimeter security at Rome Lab. In the Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 defense budgets, the senator helped deliver $243 million and $245 million for Rome Lab’s operations and personnel, respectively. That funding included over $13 million directly secured by the senator for Rome Lab to establish critical components of its ‘Quantum Information Science Innovation Center’. In the 2021 defense budget, the senator secured $278 million for Rome Lab, a $6 million increase over 2020’s level and $37 million above the president’s budget request.