WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced that the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), released by the House and Senate NDAA Conference committee today, includes an $8 million authorization to construct a small arms range at Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base. In January, Brown wrote to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis requesting the funding for Rickenbacker. As a member of the Conference Committee, Brown fought for several Ohio priorities, including the Rickenbacker arms range. The final bill released today is expected to become law.
“The men and women of the 121st Air Refueling Wing at Rickenbacker should have access to the best training as they prepare for future missions,” said Brown. “Central Ohio is proud of the mission the 121st Air Refueling Wing performs every day, and we’ll continue working to secure the resources necessary to best support them.”
Brown has been a strong advocate for Rickenbacker in Columbus.
In 2016, Brown and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) helped secure a decision by the U.S. Air Force to bring a KC-135 air refueling tanker flight simulator to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Columbus. The entire Ohio delegation – both senators and all 15 House members – sent a bipartisan letter on behalf of the Ohio Air National Guard urging General Carlton Everhart of the Air Mobility Command to locate a KC-135 air refueling tanker flight simulator at Rickenbacker.
In 2013, Brown pressed then-Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James on the importance of expanding the mission at Rickenbacker. Brown also sent a letter to General Dennis McCarthy, then-chair of the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force encouraging the commission to use Ohio as a model for the rest of nation.