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Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee joined the Dayton Development Coalition in hosting the second annual Ohio Defense Forum this week. Along with Chairman Turner, bipartisan members of the Ohio congressional delegation joined the Forum to discuss how to best allocate Ohio’s resources to make it competitive going into a possible base realignment and closure (BRAC).

“The Ohio Defense Forum is a unique event that brings together government, military, and defense industry officials to ensure Ohio remains central and strong to the mission of the Department of Defense and national security,” said Chairman Turner. “By looking at our resources, the innovation among us, and the research facilities that are here, we can work across the state to ensure that we grow Ohio’s role in defense. It’s important to hear each of what these facilities are doing and their needs. When we work together, we achieve a more efficient and robust national defense system.”

“At a time of heightened global security risks and increased strain on our forces after decades of defense cuts, Ohio has a more important role to play in our national security than ever,” saic Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-2), who moderated the Understanding and Increasing Military Value Panel yesterday. “I believe that in the coming days, the actions taken – or not taken – to address our military’s readiness crisis will be a defining issue for leadership at all levels of government. I am pleased that so many local, state, and national leaders were able to gather at this week’s defense forum to have conversations about how Ohio can continue to support our national security objectives and provide strategic value. We cannot continue to equip our military to defeat the threats of the previous decade, without making long-term investments in the technologies and capabilities that will prove critical to protecting our future national security.”

“The Springfield Ohio National Guard Base located in our district and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the greater region both play a critical role in our military capabilities globally,” said Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-8), who moderated the Exploring Defense Industry Adjustment Panel today. “Our region of Ohio is a leader in supporting our national defense capabilities and strong coordination and collaboration with the Department of Defense and all its stakeholders is important.”    

“As a veteran of over 26 years in the United States Air Force, I know firsthand the importance of a strong national defense,” said Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-6), who moderated the Partnership Strategies and Lessons Learned Panel today. “The Ohio Defense Forum gives us the opportunity to have a conversation about the current state of America’s national security, as to discuss ways to improve military readiness efforts in support of those who have served and are currently serving our country. I will always work to ensure that Ohio remains a prominent national defense hub, and that our military installations such as the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton have the resources and capabilities necessary to carry out their important missions.”

“Ohio is one of the top 10 most populous states, yet we barely rank in the top 20 in military spending,” said Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), who sits on the House Defense Appropriations Committee and hosted the Building Innovation through Research Collaboration Panel today. “So how do we turn that around? We do it by working together. It is a high priority of mine to facilitate innovation in the defense sphere for both national security and job security of Ohioans. It requires innovation, trust and most importantly a commitment to each other. Together, we can achieve even greater things in Ohio.”

“The Ohio Defense Forum represents an incredible opportunity for our partners throughout the State of Ohio and the country to come together and learn how we can better support Ohio’s military installations,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. “In the Dayton Region, we understand partnerships. Every day, we work with our business community, military leaders, and local governments to retain our existing missions and look to bring new jobs and opportunities to our region. Those efforts must include our military installations. Wright-Patterson AFB is the largest single site employer in Ohio, providing a $4B economic impact. Finding ways to deepen the connections between the Air Force and our community and allow groundbreaking technologies from military labs to be commercialized represent valuable growth opportunities for our regional and state economy. We’ll be working in the coming months to incorporate what we’ve heard this week into our efforts, and look forward to strengthening the new connections formed here.”