WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that he helped secure $1.2 billion in the Senate’s Defense Appropriations Bill to continue critical research and development missions at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Now that this funding has passed the Senate, Brown will work with colleagues to ensure the funding remains in the conference report.
“The Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Lab helps create jobs and support our defense capabilities by carrying out these important research initiatives. The workers at the AFRL have the deep institutional knowledge and experience we need to continue developing cutting edge technology for the Air Force,” Brown said.
The greater Dayton region is home to exceptional educational programs that continue to develop engineering and scientific professionals that keep Ohio on the cutting edge of aerospace technology. Now that this funding for Wright-Patt’s critical research and development programs has been included in the Appropriations bill, Brown is urging the Senate to pass this legislation immediately.
Brown has long fought to protect Wright-Patt jobs. Separate from the $1.2 billion to support AFRL jobs, Brown fought to include language in the National Defense Authorization Act that would keep critical jobs from leaving Wright-Patt. Specifically, Brown secured language to block the Department of Defense from transferring an important Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) responsibility away from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Last summer the Department of Defense announced plans to transfer management and program responsibilities for the Defense Production Act’s (DPA) Title III program away from AFRL at Wright-Patt and house them at the Pentagon. The move could have put local jobs, investments, and active projects at risk. Brown’s provision prevented DOD from moving the initiative away from Wright-Patt without Congressional approval. The DPA is overseen by the Senate Banking Committee, on which Brown sits as ranking member.
The DPA Title III program helps ensure that there is enough defense manufacturing capacity to meet national security needs of the Department. The office that manages the initiative – and has successfully managed it for decades – is currently housed in Dayton at AFRL and will remain there under Brown’s provision. Brown wrote to DOD arguing against the move last year.