DAYTON, OH —Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) convened a roundtable at the University of Dayton Research Institute to discuss investments he helped secure for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), including federal funds authorized for base upgrades and research programs. Brown was joined by WPAFB officials, the Dayton Development Coalition, representatives from Sinclair Community College’s workforce development department, and local companies and researchers who have collaborated with the base.

“Wright-Patterson plays an important role in southwest Ohio’s economy,” said Brown. “Investments like these support local jobs and directly benefit our men and women in uniform and the innovative research conducted by local universities.”

Last month, Brown and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed into law by President Barack Obama, authorized $14.4 million for facilities upgrades, equipment installation, and other projects that increase energy efficiency and approximately $1.1 billion for Air Force Research and Development projects and programs run out of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at WPAFB. The NDAA also authorized $12.6 million to consolidate the operations of two active Entry Control Points (ECPs) at WPAFB. This consolidation would improve security and traffic flow at the base.

In August 2015, Brown urged U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to include funding for this project in the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget and, in March 2016, he wrote to the Senate Armed Service Committee supporting the gate consolidation. Congress will now need to appropriate the resources necessary to fund these programs.