WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — As co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus, John Boozman (R-AR) knows about Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and the work being done here.
But knowing about what’s being done and seeing it happening are totally different, which is why Boozman jumped at the chance to tour Ohio’s largest single-sight employer Friday, March 24 at the invitation of his caucus co-chair Sherrod Brown (R-Ohio).
“There really is no substitute for being here,” Boozman said. “Our visit gives us a first-hand look at the vital research and innovation that is undertaken at Wright-Patterson on a daily basis and will guide our work as we seek to ensure our Air Force remains the strongest in the world. It’s vital for the country. That’s why the Air Force Caucus has made this trip. We’re committed from here on our to making trips to installations like this that are vital.”
The delegation, which included Armed Services Committee members Jack Reed (D-RI), Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Rob Portman (R-OH), visited and met with officials from the Air Force Research Lab, the Air Force Institute of Technology, the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, and the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
Brown and Portman were able to highlight critical research and development work done at WPAFB to not only support the Air Force but also national security. As caucus members and staffers have to make critical budget decisions regarding the military, Ohio’s senators want to make sure WPAFB remains a major player.
“The best research being done today … is being done here,” Portman said. “This is a unique resource for our national security. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure Wright-Patt and its organizations have the resources they need now and in the future.”
The tour could also be seen as a strategic move by Brown, who last week met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and invited him to visit the base as Dayton is a strong candidate as a location of a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx).
“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in my mind is the most important Air Force Base in the country,” Brown said. “What happens at the Air Force overall, Wright-Patterson is sort of in the middle of it because Wright-Patterson feeds so much of it.”
US Rep Mike Turner (R-Ohio) — one of WPAFB’s biggest proponents — was also scheduled to be part of the delegation but had to back out due to the health care vote that was supposed to take place in Washington, D.C.
“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is central to the Air Force’s mission,” Turner said in a news release. “I am grateful to have so many senators of the Air Force Caucus at WPAFB to see first-hand how critical the base is to our country’s national security.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.