I have served on the House Armed Services Committee since my first election to Congress in November of 2002. My seniority on that committee places me in a unique position to advocate for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, 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.
Shortly after being elected to Congress, the Department of Defense began the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) study, a process intended to eliminate excess military installations and realign assets to save Federal Government money on operations and maintenance. My role on the committee put me in an advantageous position to work with our community to demonstrate how valuable of an asset WPAFB is to our military. When the BRAC commission’s work was done, over 3,000 jobs had been preserved and approximately 1,000 additional jobs were slated to be moved to WPAFB.
Since the conclusion of the BRAC Process, I have continued to advocate for the expansion of the base. Since 2003, I have secured nearly $300 million in authorized defense funding to support Wright-Patt priorities. This funding paid for infrastructure modifications and improvements at the base, created jobs, and provided support to the men and women who do work integral to our country’s national security.
In addition, my subcommittee assignments on HASC are tailored toward representing the interests of Wright-Patterson. The House Armed Services Strategic Forces Subcommittee, of which I am the leading Republican, has jurisdiction over the nation’s nuclear arsenal, the Department of Defense’s intelligence programs, and missile defense systems. The National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) headquartered at Wright-Patterson hosts many missions overseen by the Strategic Forces and is responsible for more than two thousand jobs in the Dayton area. My role on this subcommittee was critical to thwarting recent efforts by the Alabama Congressional Delegation to grow Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), based at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama by attempting to steal mission responsibility from NASIC.
The Air and Land Forces Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the United States Army, the United States Air Force, the National Guard, deep strike bombers, and Army and Air Force reserve modernization. Through this subcommittee, I can advocate for Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), headquartered at Wright-Patterson, which falls under the subcommittee’s purview. AFMC is the nation’s leader in acquisition management services and logistics support necessary to keep Air Force weapon systems ready for any contingency.
The Readiness Subcommittee exercises oversight and legislative jurisdiction over Military readiness, training, logistics and maintenance issues and programs, military construction, and the Base Realignment and Closure. Through this subcommittee, I work to ensure our men and women in uniform are the most professionally trained and best equipped forces in the world. Additionally, the subcommittee is critical to securing federal investment for construction on military installations, such as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
My leadership role as a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee will be increasingly important in the 112th Congress. I am committed to protecting the unique and strategic role Wright-Patterson plays in the defense of the United States and the economic health of the Dayton region, and advocating for the brave men and women in our Armed Forces who fearlessly and selflessly serve our nation.