WYSO

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Event Highlights STEM Skills For Students

Nov 10, 2014
Middle schoolers Alex Maney and Zack Gillman work with DNA from a strawberry during a STEM event on the Wright-Patt base.
Ariel Van Cleave / WYSO

The STEM subjects--science, technology, engineering and math--are becoming more important these days. Programs like Wright-Patt’s Starbase push for a hands-on approach to STEM.

Middle schoolers Alex Maney and Zack Gillman are staring into a digital microscope examining the building blocks of a strawberry.

“It looks like a dragon, kind of, if you look at it at the right angle,” Maney said.

“Like a bird,” Gillman said.

Congressmen Mike Turner (R-OH) and John Carter (R-TX) speak with reporters outside WPAFB's Hope Hotel.
Jerry Kenney

Lawmakers from Ohio and Texas are assessing how Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has done since a 2008 Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC. Congressman Mike Turner of Ohio’s 10thdistrict and Congressman John Carter from Texas spent about four hours Monday touring Wright-Patt facilities.

Carter is Chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Appropriations. His visit to Wright-Patt was in part to look at results of the 2008 BRAC that brought a $230 million investment in military construction at the base. It also brought more than 1,000 new jobs to the area.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

Thousands of civilian workers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base are being offered the option to retire early or take a buyout. The buyouts are an effort to prepare for a cut of 372 positions at the base this fall.

Many of the positions to be cut aren’t currently filled, and by offering early retirement and buyout options, Wright-Patt officials hope to move those who stay into open jobs elsewhere on the base.

“We just want to make sure that we take care of our people, that’s our key objective,” says Wright-Patt spokesman Daryl Mayer.

Colonel Cassie Barlow of the 88th Air Base Wing speaks to reporters about a possible emergency furlough.
WYSO/Lewis Wallace

Wright Patterson Air Force Base is getting a new commander today.  Col. John Devillier will lead Wright-Patt’s 88th Air Base Wing as Col. Cassie Barlow retires after 26 years in the military. 

The 88th is one of the largest air base wings in the U.S. Air Force, with more than 5,000 military, civilian, and contractor employees. In a change of command ceremony scheduled for 10:00 a.m. at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Devillier will take the reigns from retiring Col. Cassie Barlow, who has served as wing commander since July 17, 2012. 

The Ohio Department of Veterans Services is trying to get the word out about cash bonuses available to vets who have served since September 11, 2001.

A spokesman for the department says 81,000 Ohio vets have already received bonuses totaling tens of millions of dollars, but an important deadline is approaching: This is the last year for veterans who served in Iraq between March 2003 and December of 2011 to apply for the bonus.

wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

Wright Patterson Air Force Base is moving ahead with a multi-million dollar addition to its National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC). That’s after Congress approved the funds needed for the project.

NASIC is the primary foreign intelligence agency for the Air Force. NASIC commander Colonel Leah Lauderback says the building will increase the center’s technical capability to analyze foreign materials.

Jerry Kenney

In an effort to save costs under a shrinking military budget, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base announced earlier this year it would form partnerships with local governments, organizations and businesses.  

Now the base is moving forward with those plans: In Riverside Wednesday, Col. Cassie Barlow. Commander of the 88th Air Base Wing, announced that Wright-Patt and some of its new partners now had more concrete ideas to push forward. 

Wright State University has set aside a new graduate scholarship fund for employees of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The fund will give up to $7,500 dollars a year to civilian or military personnel to help cover tuition; family members will also be eligible.

Robert Fyffe, the dean of the Graduate School, says the scholarships will cover a variety of fields including business and health.

“It goes beyond just the traditional engineering topics that we typically think of as being critical to what the Air Force is doing,” he says.  

Work Starts On New Wing At Air Force Museum

Jun 4, 2014
Plan for a fourth building at the Air Force Museum.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Construction starts this summer on a new wing at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton. The 224,000-square-foot addition will host the presidential aircraft gallery, an expanded space gallery, the research and development gallery, and a global reach gallery about airlift operations.

Defense Bill Won’t Bring On A BRAC For Now

May 26, 2014
wright-patterson air force base gates
Flickr Creative Commons user soundfromwayout

Congress is working on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015, the major policy bill for the military. The latest House version of the bill prohibits a Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC in the next couple years, although it does allow the military to start planning for one.

BRACs let the Pentagon recommend military bases and operations to close or move. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton is the biggest single-site employer in the state, which means the BRAC process is closely watched in the Dayton area.

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