The importance of southwest Ohio’s military programs was underscored by the inclusion of over $100 million in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in support of missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
by Congressman Michael Turner
The importance of southwest Ohio’s military programs was underscored by the inclusion of over $100 million in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in support of missions at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. I was pleased to advance these new projects which bolster national defense research and promote growth of good-paying jobs here in Ohio.
Last week, the House Armed Services Committee passed the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act and this week it heads to the floor of the U.S. House for approval. The NDAA is the source of funding for our national defense programs, including operations at Ohio’s largest single site employer – Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Wright-Patterson’s impact on the state cannot be overstated. It is the foundation of a significant military aerospace infrastructure that employs over 50,000 people, inside and outside of the base. The combined annual payroll of Wright-Patterson and area defense contractors exceeds $2.5 billion with a total economic impact of nearly $5 billion.
As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am able to monitor Wright-Patterson’s mission status and work to ensure that it gets the federal funding it needs to complete its work in support of our military. Since coming to Congress in 2003, I have secured more than $430 million in military construction and mission growth for Wright-Patterson and the new defense bill continues to enhance the local air force base and its vital activities to help protect our country.
Among the major local projects funded in the new defense bill is $9 million for the Advanced Technical Information Center (ATIC). The ATIC is a research, education and training facility whose mission is to prepare more technical intelligence experts for the military. Wright-Patterson is home to several premier technical centers, including the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Air Force Institute of Technology.
Wright-Patterson will benefit from $21 million in new funding for the renovation and construction of a laboratory devoted to new power and thermal research. The work done at the Advanced Power Research lab will support the development of advanced electrical power and thermal technologies for the F-22, The Joint Strike Fighter, and future aircraft.
The new defense budget directs $27 million to fund the Information Technology Complex (ITC), also at Wright-Patterson. This facility will provide time-critical scenarios such as Middle East battlefield simulations and will develop battle tactics and techniques using cyberspace technology.
Among the new local construction projects funded in the new defense bill is $10.6 million for phase two of the replacement of taxiway pavement, edge lighting and blast deflectors for Wright-Patterson’s West Ramp. This project will support the 445th Airlift Wing’s C-5 aircraft by providing expanded runways for aircraft taxi and warm-up.
This significant new federal funding is in line with the ongoing preparations for Wright-Patterson’s acceptance of some 1,200 new jobs and mission growth by the year 2011 as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission process.
The approval of these local projects is important to the future of Wright-Patterson, the regional economy, and to maintaining America’s military superiority. I will continue my efforts in Congress to support vital mission expansion at Wright-Patterson and resulting economic growth and job creation for southwest Ohio.