New mission bringing 400-plus jobs to Wright-Patt
Staff Reporter, Dayton Business Journal
The Pentagon announced Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will be the site of a new mission that will bring hundreds of jobs to the Dayton region.
The F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator Organization, which supports the F-35 stealth fighter jet, will be located at the base. It is an acquisition-related program, and falls under the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, which is headquartered at the base.
The mission will bring at least 400 new jobs to Wright-Patt, with the potential for more over the next several years. The project further fortifies the importance and impact of the base. With nearly 30,000 employees, Wright-Patt is the largest employer in the Dayton region and the largest single-site employer in Ohio.
In April, Congressman Mike Turner (R-Dayton) and Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) led the Ohio congressional delegation in advocating to U.S. Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson for the mission to come to Wright-Patt because the base is “uniquely qualified to handle the new mission.”
In a meeting Turner arranged in June, the senators and other members of the Ohio delegation met with Wilson in Washington and made the case for Wright-Patt in person.
“In numerous discussions with Secretary Wilson, I expressed that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base provides the best opportunity of success for this incredibly important mission for our national security,”Turner said. “With today’s decision to bring the F-35 HPSI Organization to Wright-Patt, at least 400 new jobs will be added to our community as a direct result of our strong bipartisan advocacy.”
The lawmakers added Dayton’s research industry and universities have long been the center for developing, acquiring and sustaining the next level of air superiority to counter U.S. adversaries and, therefore, locating this organization at Wright-Patt is the best choice for the Air Force.
“The men and women at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base perform critical acquisition missions supporting our national defense,” Brown said. “Secretary Wilson recognized that the base, and the greater Dayton area, provide a unique environment to enable our servicemembers and civilians to continue meeting our national security needs. This mission will continue to grow the critical acquisition and technical expertise in the Miami Valley.”
“The Air Force’s decision to locate the F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator at Wright-Patt is great news for the Dayton region and more than 400 new jobs at the base,” Portman said.“This decision is a testament to our incredible work force and reinforces the Miami Valley’s critical role in supporting our national defense. In addition to bringing high-paying jobs to Dayton, this Support Integrator will help contribute to the effectiveness of our F-35 program.”
Jeff Hoagland, president and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, said Wilson’s decision to base the mission at Wright-Patt is more than just a few new jobs for the region, “it’s a vote of confidence in the skilled acquisition workforce at the base.”
“This ensures that Wright-Patterson will remain strongly involved in this aircraft program vital to the Air Force and the national defense,” Hoagland said.
Hoagland added missions such as the F-35 program are often decades-long initiatives, meaning it could continue to operate at Wright-Patt for another 50 years or more.
For the DDC leader, the Pentagon’s decision to locate the F-35 program at the base is an indication that the Dayton region has the workforce and intellectual capital needed for such missions. He also said it is a sign of bipartisan among the Ohio congressional delegation.
“Our federal delegation continues to work in a bipartisan way to get work done for Wright-Patt, the Air Force and the state of Ohio,” he said. “When groups work together on critical issues like this, success is the outcome. This is another big example of that.”
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