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National Air and Space Intelligence Center to get $35M cooling system in new defense budget

By THOMAS GNAU | Dayton Daily News | Published: July 2, 2020

(Tribune News Service) — So far, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has done well in the emerging National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2021, according to Sen. Rob Portman.

The National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson — better known simply as “NASIC” — is set to see its cooling system significantly upgraded, Portman said.

Based at Wright-Patterson, NASIC will get $35 million for construction of a new “energy resilient conservation investment program,” an energy efficiency project for NASIC, which is getting a new $182 million headquarters at the base, Portman said.

“They have an existing cooling system that needs to be redone; these are big, expensive systems,” Portman said. “And right now they have downtime with their equipment because it’s failing. They have data loss, and so they have convinced the Air Force this is a priority, and they’ve convinced us it’s a priority. And we got it in there.”

Beyond the cooling system, the NDAA conference report included $120.9 million for upgrades at NASIC, and the year before, the NDAA conference report authorized the entire $182 million for NASIC’s new home.

And also, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force — which just reopened to the public Wednesday after being closed since mid-March — is set to receive authorization to accept property that has been named after people, the senator also said in a recent interview.

The museum “wanted to be able to receive name-bearing gifts of real property,” Portman said.

The idea is simple: To allow the Air Force Museum, and all military museums, to accept gifts of real property that have a specific name attached to the donation.

The authorization will allow the Air Force Museum to accept items “in a more efficient and effective manner, we’re told,” he said.

Also at Wright Patterson, the base is set to receive $23.5 million in funding for a hydrant fuel system for the Defense Logistics Agency, replacing an aging system to refuel aircraft.

The defense budget has not received a final vote in the Senate. Portman, Ohio’s junior senator, hopes the legislation will see final passage later in July, perhaps by July 20.

The overall NDAA supports $740.5 billion in defense spending in fiscal 2021, which begins Oct. 1. On June 10, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 25-2 advance the bill to the Senate floor.

©2020 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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