In a substantial win for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), the Space Force announced its intention to transfer five units at WPAFB from the Air Force to the Space Force. This announcement comes after months of advocating by Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) with senior military and political leaders. At the signing ceremony of the bill that created Space Force, Turner explained to Vice President Pence the unique capabilities and assets at WPAFB that make it so valuable to our national defense.
The creation of the Space Force presented both a serious threat and opportunity to WPAFB. With overlapping missions between the Air Force and Space Force, there was a significant chance that missions and jobs would be moved out of WPAFB and to other bases around the country. Similar to base realignments and closures (BRACs), this could have meant job losses at WPAFB.
However, after continuously advocating and explaining the capabilities and assets that are located at WPAFB, with the help of the servicemen and women on the base, Turner was able to capitalize on this opportunity and help establish a large initial footprint at WPAFB in the newly created Space Force.
“As Space Force develops, it is necessary for its success that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is involved in its mission,” said Turner. “The Space Force’s announcement that it will transfer five units at Wright-Patt from the Air Force to the Space Force shows that the Pentagon understands the unique capabilities of Wright-Patt in regard to our national mission in space and intends to capitalize on that. I have continued to advocate to the Space Force leadership that Wright-Patt and NASIC have a lot to offer in terms of already developed capabilities and trained personnel that could assist in the Space Force’s mission. I will continue to advocate for Wright-Patt’s capabilities in space as Space Force is stood up.”
“The transfer of Wright-Patterson missions from the Air Force to the Space Force ensures that the base will have an early and important role in the new organization. As the Space Force develops and grows, Wright-Patterson will grow with it, evolving into a base that jointly serves both missions,” said Jeff Hoagland, President & CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition. “I appreciate the leadership of Congressman Turner keeping close watch on the creation of the Space Force and its relationship to the base.”
Below is a timeline of Turner’s advocacy for Space Force to have a significant presence at WPAFB:
- March 30, 2020: Turner discusses the transfer of Air Force units to the Space Force with Chief of Space Operations General Raymond and advocates for the joint capabilities on WPAFB.
- March 4, 2020: Turner questions Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett at a House Armed Services Committee hearing regarding the Air Force’s FY2021 budget request on the role of NASIC in space intelligence requirements of the U.S. Space Force.
- February 27, 2020: Turner advocates for NASIC to General Raymond during a House Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces hearing regarding strategic forces posture, ensuring existing missions that are working are not broken or unnecessarily replicated.
- February 27, 2020: Turner advocates for the critical expertise at NASIC and its potential to fulfill space intelligence requirements with a Senior White House Official.
- February 26, 2020: Turner questions Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on the role of NASIC in the U.S. Space Force at a House Armed Services Committee hearing regarding the Department of Defense’s FY2021 budget request.
- February 25, 2020: Turner meets with Lieutenant General Mary O’Brien, Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance to discuss the future of U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force intelligence requirements and the opportunity for WPAFB to expand its existing role in support of these domains.
- February 25, 2020: Turner discusses NASIC’s mission with the Center’s Commander, Colonel Parker Wright, and its posture to expand capabilities to support national space intelligence requirements.
- February 13, 2020: Turner meets with General Raymond to discuss the requirements for a National Space Intelligence Center and advocates for existing capabilities at NASIC to fill this demand.
- January 29, 2020: Turner meets with Secretary Barrett to discuss the establishment of the U.S. Space Force and the role of WPAFB in supporting the new armed service.
- January 14, 2020: Turner discusses critical space intelligence requirements of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force with Secretary Esper.
- January 10, 2020: Turner advocates for WPAFB’s tenant organizations, expertise, and capabilities with Keri Bingen, then-Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security.
- January 6, 2020: Turner discusses requirements for a National Space Intelligence Center and advocates for WPAFB’s role in such with then-Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Keri Bingen.
- December 20, 2019: Turner attends the signing of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act authorizing the establishment of the U.S. Space Force at Joint Base Andrews and discusses the potential for space-focused equities on WPAFB with Vice President Mike Pence.
- October 4, 2019: Turner hosts Secretary Esper at WPAFB to display the installation’s unique capabilities and opportunities for the expansion of NASIC and AFRL to support the U.S. Space Force.
- September 26, 2019: Turner meets with General Raymond to discuss the establishment of the U.S. Space Force and the opportunities for expansion at WPAFB to support the service.
- August 29, 2019: Turner attends U.S. Space Command Flag Unfurling Ceremony at the White House and discusses future space capabilities with then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford.