Chairman Mike Turner (OH-10) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces and member of the House Intelligence Committee opened the Dayton Development Coalition’s second annual Ohio Defense Forum today. Congressman Turner delivered the following remarks:
“This has been an incredibly important undertaking: the second Ohio Defense Forum. This is an effort, as you all are aware, to place a mark and bring together all of the resources that we have in Ohio that answer the call to serve our national defense and also that are incredibly important to our economy. I want to thank the Dayton Development Coalition for its leadership here, and Jeff Hoagland for seeing the importance of this and helping coordinate this, and I want to thank Ohio State University and in particular thank Dean Dave Williams who, he and I had conversations, several years in the making, that resulted in the call to do this. The Dean was not only aware of the extensive resources that we have throughout the state, but the importance for those resources to be coordinated by his experience elsewhere and his look into this state as to the things that we’re doing.
What we know is that scattered throughout Ohio, you have research and development, you have marketing, you have military facilities themselves, you have federal dollars flowing in and out of private enterprises, universities, federal installations, contractor operated installations that government owns such as Lima. You have a myriad of installations that if we look to how we can grow them and how we can coordinate our response to them, have an opportunity to both enhance the importance of what we deliver for national defense, but also enhance the importance of what Ohio does.
When I look at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and the fact that 47% of all of the Air Force budget goes through Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, I consider every dollar that doesn’t stop at Ohio, that passes through there, leakage. So, with your help we can look at all the facilities that we have, and ways in which we can capture more of the dollars that are travelling through these facilities, and more of the work, and thereby also enhance overall our national security.
Now, as Jeff said, I serve on the Armed Services Committee. I previously Chaired, and am still active in, the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, its nuclear weapons, missiles, missile defense, space, military intel. I currently chair Air and Land which has all of the Air Force and Army under its review and I sit on the Intel Committee. What that means is that I have had unbelievable, unique opportunities to see scattered all across our state the different ways that industry, our universities, and our businesses respond to those needs of national security. All the time, I get to learn of new ways that Ohio is responding and what we need to do by pulling our resources together. By highlighting those, by advances the causes of each of those, we can grow what we do in Ohio for national defense.
Now, I want to thank your elected officials also who are participating. I thank Rick Perales who is here. But let me tell you that on the congressional side, your congressional delegation understands this issue. So, part of what we need to do in pulling this Ohio Defense Forum together, and thank you for what we are going to see here as the successful second year of this, is an organization that can marry itself to the already statewide view that the congressional delegation has. We have members deployed across many different committees, but still they look to the federal installations, the federal dollars, the national security issues, that are happening in our district and work diligently to address them.
Speaking here, we are going to have Brad Wenstrup, who sits with me, both on Armed Services and Intelligence, Bill Johnson, Warren Davidson, and Marcy Kaptur. Each of them are very active in ensuring that Ohio has great representation. And I want to thank also Speaker Rosenberger who’s going to be here, in fact I think he just walked in, who is going to lead one of our delegations. Your elected delegations get that this is important, and that it takes a government response.
And with this we are looking to the Ohio Defense Forum to become that forum where government, universities, industry, research and development, can come together to try to tell the story of Ohio, look to what our future can be, and how we can enhance it. I appreciate you being a part of this second Ohio Defense Forum and look to how we can, after this great forum, look to the call of what we can do to help advance national security in Ohio. Thank you.”