Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has secured a commitment from Army Secretary John McHugh that the Army would keep the Army Reserves "Virtual Installation" open and operating, and that the 490th Quartermaster Company is scheduled to activate in Rochester, New York on September 16
th, 2012. Schumer has been working with the Army for the last three months, urging them to keep the 98
th Reserve Division, currently stationed in Rochester, from moving to a base in Georgia. One of the community's concerns with the move would be the closure of what is called a "Virtual Installation" currently located at Rochester's Army Reserve Base. Schumer said today that with the 490
th Quartermaster company moving to Rochester, the Virtual Instillation was safe from closure, and Rochester's tradition of being a military community will be protected.
The stationing of the new 490th Quartermaster company of the U.S. Army Reserve will bring 137 service members to the Rochester base. Schumer said that while this is an important step, he is still leading the charge to keep the 98
th Reserve Division in Rochester. The 98
th currently has 86 soldiers. Since the potential move was made public, Schumer has been pressing the Army to reverse their decision to relocate Rochester's 98
th Army Reserve Division to Georgia.
"Having the 490
th Quartermaster Company move to Rochester not only guarantees that our 'Virtual Installation' will remain open and operating, continuing to serve the families of the 800 Army Reserve Soldiers in the region, it will be an important boost to the local economy," said Schumer. "It will also ensure that Rochester continues its tradition of being a military community, something that is critically important to the region's soldiers, veterans and family members. And while this is great news, the fight to keep the 98
th Reserve Division continues."
More than 800 Army Reserve soldiers live within 50 miles of Rochester, which is located more than 120 miles from Fort Drum. This makes this installation crucial to the growth of the region. If this facility were to close, those 800 families would either have to leave the community or deal with having their loved ones stationed at bases far away from home. The 98th Reserve Base in Rochester was also chosen as the first base in the country to get a "Virtual Installation" which provides much needed support for families living in a community, such as Rochester, while their family members are deployed. This is important because one of the major benefits of living on a large military installation is the access to readily available support services. This installation is on the cutting edge of how we help families stay happy and healthy while their loved ones fight for our country overseas. While our reservists are being counted on more and more to serve and sacrifice for their country
we should not be considering the closing of valuable bases and the services that come with them.
Schumer said that today's pledge from Secretary McHugh would ensure that the facility remains open and operating, and serving our Reservists' families. It will also be a shot in the arm for the region's economy, as the newly deployed troops would spend money in the community, and the reserve center would continue to employ people. Schumer said that this was major turnaround from just a several months ago when it looked as if the center would be left vacant after the Army announced the 98
th Reserve Division would be moving to Georgia.
Schumer is also currently leading the fight to keep the 98
th Division, and is engaged in personal talks with the Army. Two months ago the decision to move the division in 2013 became public, and since then Schumer has been pressing the Army to reverse their decision. He has spoken and written a personal letter to the Secretary of the Army and other high ranking officials.
Schumer has a long record of advocating for military families and the communities in which they live. Since becoming New York's Senator, Schumer has been proud to announce millions of dollars in funding for military communities all across New York in order to strengthen them and ensure that they remain economic hubs for their communities. In addition, this past October, Schumer led a bipartisan effort to pass legislation that would make it easier for service members serving abroad to vote in elections.
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