Recently, our region and the national security of the United States won a major victory when we prevented jobs from being stolen away from the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am in a unique position to advocate for Wright-Patterson, one of the largest and most diverse Air Force bases in the world. As the largest single-site employer in the State of Ohio, employing roughly 20,000 inside the gates and another 20,000 through private companies that do business with the base, Wright-Patterson serves a vital role in the economy of the Dayton region. In addition, missions at WPAFB are critical operations essential to the national security of the United States. These diverse missions include: research and development, acquisition and logistics management, education, and flight operations.
NASIC is a particularly important mission to the national security of the United States. As the source of air and space intelligence for the Department of Defense (DoD), NASIC plays a vital role in keeping U.S. military leaders apprised of missile tests and space events. I currently serve as the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces. This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the nation’s nuclear arsenal, the Department of Defense’s intelligence programs, and U.S. missile defense systems. In this role, I have seen firsthand the unmatched quality of intelligence produced by the men and women at NASIC.
Despite this proven record of performance, the Alabama Congressional Delegation recently conspired to move mission responsibility and jobs from NASIC to the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), based at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. In fact, this incident was just one of many attempts over the years to expand MSIC by stealing mission responsibility and jobs from NASIC. Because NASIC has earned a reputation as the leader in providing fast and reliable analysis for ballistic missiles and space, these attempts to grow MSIC are seen by many as simply an effort to take jobs from Ohio and bring them to Alabama.
In response to the Alabama delegation’s latest efforts, I demanded intervention from President Barack Obama and Lieutenant General (LTG) Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). I advocated for NASIC based on its performance record, achievements, and customer trust. In addition, I led an Ohio delegation-wide letter to the DIA making the case that NASIC’s past performance clearly shows mission responsibility should remain in the hands of those serving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
In last week’s meeting, LTG Burgess recognized it is in the best interests of U.S. national security to maintain the intelligence capabilities at WPAFB, and gave me his personal assurance that no jobs or missions will be moved from NASIC to the MSIC. This means that WPAFB’s critical missions and thousands of jobs will remain in the Dayton Region.
As my Congressional responsibility in the military and intelligence field has increased, I continue to be impressed with the professionals at WPAFB, and truly appreciate the impact of their intelligence products. NASIC is recognized within the intelligence community as the premier organization for air and space intelligence. It is imperative that NASIC’s body of expertise be supported and fostered to continue its position as the sole center of Air Force intelligence. As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, I am committed to protecting the unique and strategic role WPAFB plays in the defense of the United States and the economic health of the Dayton region.