Suffolk County has secured a $126,000 matching grant from the New York State Empire State Development Corporation for the 106th Rescue Wing at Gabreski Airport that will be used to upgrade communications.
According to Suffolk County Executive Steve Belone, the county will provide $116,000 toward the matching fund grant and Southampton Town has agreed to chip in $10,000 for a total $252,000.
The grant, which was applied for in August by the county will help fund the purchase of an array of communication equipment including, two wide band radio base stations with accessories, batteries, specialized antenna, chargers, multiband LMR and GPS microphones, mobile chargers, and vehicle antennae, which Bellone says is needed for the base members to carry out their mission.
“The 106th Rescue Wing has an important role in the defense of our nation, and is an equally important community resource as evidenced in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy,” said Bellone.
According to Bellone, during Hurricane Sandy, the rescue wing provided a command and control link between military and civilian agencies, water rescue support, and personnel to assist the Suffolk County Police Department and town and village police departments with relief supply distribution, gas station traffic control efforts and anti-looting patrols.
Of the approval of the grant 106th Rescue Wing Commander Colonel Thomas Owens said, "The 106th Rescue Wing is proud to partner with Suffolk County and the surrounding community. The award of this grant will not only facilitate rapid response to future critical missions but also continues to affirm and strengthen our partnerships."
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