WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus – joined members of the Ohio Congressional delegation in a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force in support of a new mission to be located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
“Leaders in the military community know how important Wright-Patt is to our nation’s defense,” Brown said. “Since our first meeting in 2013 during her confirmation process, I have advocated directly to Secretary James on the importance of locating this command headquarters in Ohio. When you add up all the positives both on and off base, Wright-Patt is the correct, strategic location for this headquarters. I look forward to working with Secretary James to make this a reality and further supporting the mission of the AFIMSC.”
Brown has fought to expand the Air Force mission in Ohio. In June 2014, Brown announced $29.5 million in new federal funding to expand and strengthen operations at NASIC in an effort to help keep the mission in Ohio. That announcement followed advocacy by Brown in December 2013 when he stressed the importance of upgrading NASIC facilities at Wright-Patterson in a call with Eric Fanning, then-Acting Secretary of the Air Force. In September 2013, Brown pressed Deborah Lee James, then nominee for Secretary of the Air Force, on the importance of expanding NASIC’s capacity at Wright-Patterson. NASIC serves as the preeminent center for research and development on foreign air and space threats to the United States.
On Friday, Brown will host U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the second most senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, at a visit to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Brown and Reed will meet with Colonel John Devillier, 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander, and Senior Leaders from AFLCMC, NASIC, and AFRL, before visiting the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC).
The full text of the letter to Secretary James can be found below.
Dear Secretary James,
We write to express our support for the establishment of the Air Force Installation & Mission Support Center (AFIMSC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). Based on the criteria included in the Air Force’s Strategic Basing Process, we are confident that WPAFB is the ideal location to host the AFIMSC.
After careful examination of the Air Force’s approved AFIMSC basing criteria, it is clear that WPAFB meets, if not, exceeds all criteria currently being evaluated by the Air Force. While we can certainly make a strong case for each of the criteria, the delegation agrees that the collocating AFIMSC with Air Force Material Command (AFMC) headquarters is a logical choice. Collocating the new center with AFMC would aid in the immediate realignment of resources, authorities, and responsibilities, while reducing costs and inefficiencies.
WPAFB and the surrounding area is an ideal location to house the men and women that will eventually make up AFIMSC. As you know, this summer the Air Force Times recently ranked WPAFB as the top Air Force base in the country for airmen to live. According to the report, “Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio enjoys low housing costs, a large commissary, a huge 300-bed medical center, and a large exchange.” The report goes on to state that “an above-average crime score of 7 out of 10, and decent commute times… combined to help land Wright-Pat at the top of the list.”
Furthermore, we believe the costs associated with the initial stand up of AFIMSC at WPAFB would be low compared to other potential candidate bases. Already available infrastructure along with competitive construction costs across the state would allow the Air Force to quickly make ready the facilities needed to operate AFIMSC.
Thank you again for your consideration of Wright Patterson Air Force Base as the future home of the Air Force Installation & Mission Support Center. As you move forward with your strategic basing process, we stand ready to work with you and provide any additional details that may aid in the selection process.