Reps. Turner and Austria Press DoD on the Importance of the Expeditionary Combat Support System Program
The ECSS Program, Headquartered in Beavercreek, Employs Hundreds in the Region
Dec 8, 2010 -
Congressman Mike Turner of Dayton and Congressman Steve Austria of Beavercreek. who represent Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Congress, today sent a bipartisan delegation letter to the Defense Department expressing concern about the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS) program, currently headquartered in Beavercreek, could be downsized resulting in the loss of hundreds of SW Ohio jobs.
“ECSS is a critical piece to the modernization of Air Force logistics,” said Rep. Turner. “The Secretary of Defense has directed Pentagon officials to look for cost savings, but making short-term fiscal decisions at the risk of creating cost overruns and missed deadlines within programs is not a positive use of taxpayer funds. The Pentagon needs to explain how stopping this important modernization program benefits the Air Force and supports our national security.”
“While I understand the Air Force’s recent concerns, moving the legacy system may be counter-productive,” Rep. Austria said. “The loss of this project would cost the region and state a significant number of jobs that are critical in supporting Wright Patterson Air Force Base and if the ECSS program goes away the Air Force will need to come up with a robust program in which to maintain the system.”
The ECSS program is the major part of an important initiative known as the Expeditionary Logistics for the 21st Century (eLog21). The initiative is expected to result in a 10 percent cost savings over the Future Years Defense Program for the Air Force. A program delay or interruption, as called for in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s decision memorandum, will negatively impact the ECSS program, likely resulting in future schedule delays and cost overruns.
“Such a move could cost the taxpayer millions of dollars, and will cost the Dayton region hundreds of jobs,” said Rep. Turner. ”As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I will continue to fight for a strong national defense as well as the most effective use of taxpayer dollars. No one does that better than the workforce at and around Wright-Patterson.”
“My office will continue to work with the Air Force and our local community to keep these jobs,” Rep. Austria said. “With the expert local work force and continued growth at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, it would be a mistake to move these important jobs dealing with the legacy system to Alabama or anywhere else.”
On July 22nd 2010, Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton testified before the House Armed Services Committee in a hearing about the effective and efficient use of resources at the Department of Defense. In her written testimony, Conaton stated: “The ECSS is a major information technology initiative that is crucial to supporting the enterprise goals and outcomes of eLog21. By consolidating unconnected legacy logistic and supply information systems, ECSS will eliminate the enormous inefficiencies in those legacy systems that resulted from a lack of visibility throughout the supply chain. Once fully implemented, ECSS, in support of eLog21, will allow the Air Force to maintain smaller inventories, with a greater percentage of our equipment in the hands of those that need it.
In the coming weeks Turner and Austria will continue to put pressure on the Department of Defense to keep the ECSS program on track.