Just about a year ago, the future for one of the main flying units at the Niagara Falls Airbase looked bleak. There was the threat of a possible Pentagon ordered shutdown and the loss of over 800 jobs.
But now there is a new beginning at the base. There is a new commander for the 107th Air National Guard unit as Colonel John Higgins, a Kenmore native, officially took over the unit Saturday from Colonel Jim McCready.
Last February Air Force brass suggested closing the 845 member airlift wing and taking away its C-130 cargo planes. But the unit survived after plenty of pressure from politicians, base supporters and the public.
The 107th is now slated to start flying drones as part of its new mission. But Major General Verle Johnston, who commands the state's Air National Guard, says exact details including staffing for the re-configured unit are still being worked out.