Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to get $182 million for one of biggest projects in base history

By MAX FILBY | Dayton Daily News, Ohio | Published: July 24, 2018

DAYTON, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — The National Air and Space Intelligence Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is set to get more construction funding than ever before.

As part of the National Defense Authorization Act, NASIC will get $182 million for its expansion, according to details of the bill released today. NASIC will receive an appropriation of $61 million so construction can begin in fiscal year 2019, according to Sen. Sherrod Brown and Sen. Rob Portman.

The intelligence agency analyzes adversaries air, space, and cyber threats, such as ballistic missile capabilities, and provides findings to the nation’s political and military leaders.

“This bill will make sure Wright-Patt’s highly-skilled workers can continue to do their jobs and help meet our national security needs,”Brown said in a statement.

NASIC has pressed the need for the new space to relieve overcrowding, agency spokeswoman Michelle Martz has said. The size of the new building will “certainly put a dent in that problem,” she said.

As national decision makers and others have demanded more intelligence, NASIC’s workforce has increased by about 1,500 employees, or 100 a year between 2000 to 2015, according to the agency.

The building would bring employees in six different locations into one facility. An expansion would add 900 seats to house intelligence analysts and engineers and add labs.

“I look forward to Congress passing this conference report soon because new facilities are critical for NASIC to fulfill its increasingly important intelligence analysis mission for our Air Force and national policymakers,” Sen. Rob Portman said in a statement.

The NDAA, which still must be signed into law by President Donald Trump, included several provisions that affect Wright-Patt and Ohio’s defense industry.

The bill provides more than $1 billion toward research and development programs for the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patt.

Last summer, the U.S. Department of Defense announced plans to shift certain Defense Production Act jobs from the air force base to the Pentagon. But, if it becomes law the NDAA would prohibit the Department of Defense from moving those jobs without congressional approval, according to Brown’s office.

The NDAA will also include $335.8 million to address issues of toxic chemicals from getting into local water supply at Air Force bases.

©2018 the Dayton Daily News (Dayton, Ohio)
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