Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Aviation-related classes have been canceled at Ohio's largest military base as a result of furloughs triggered by the federal government shutdown.

The Dayton Daily News reports the Air Force Institute of Technology suspended classes this week at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. About 8,700 civilian employees were sent home without pay when the partial federal government shutdown began Tuesday.

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

 Nearly 9,000 employees of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base remain on emergency furlough following the federal government shutdown, and workers and businesses are worried about the financial impact, particularly if the partial shutdown is prolonged.

Wright-Patt officials estimate that for every day the government stays closed, the Dayton area loses $5 million in wages.

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

As of midnight, October 1st, the U.S. House and Senate had not agreed on a  budget, and the federal government is now implementing a partial shut down for the first time since 1995-1996.

On Tuesday Forbes listed Dayton as one of the top ten cities at risk during a government shutdown. Civilian workers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base bear the immediate brunt: approximately 8,700 non-military staff at Wright-Patt received furlough letters Tuesday morning.

The impacts of the partial federal government shutdown are beginning to ripple across Ohio.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force near Dayton has closed, canceling all tours and other events. The museum has some 1 million visitors a year and is a popular place for military reunions.  A spokeswoman has said that all but three security staff members of 95 museum employees would be furloughed.

Wright-Patterson officials continue to review security in the wake of the shootings at the U.S. Naval Yard shooting earlier this week. Colonel Cassie Barlow told reporters at a press conference that there is support available, from mental health services, to substance abuse and education programs, and the sexual assault and victim advocates program. Barlow says employees are trained in identifying odd behavior, and she emphasized that working as a team, or what she calls "wingmen", will help combat tragedies like what happened this week.

Court Martial Begins Monday For AF Officer

Sep 19, 2013

A court martial begins Monday for an Air Force officer based at Wright-Patterson Force Base accused of sex related crimes. Lt. Col Reginald W. Kabban is accused of unlawful sex acts with a child over a six year period during his time in Centerville, Ohio and Virginia. The Air Force reports there is only one victim involved in the charges. 

Kabban is the deputy chief of a development and planning branch of the Life Cycle Management Center, which reports to Air Force Materiel Command. He joined the Air Force in 1995 and promoted to Lieutenant  in 2011.

Following Monday’s shootings at the Naval Yard in Washington D.C., 88th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Cassie Barlow says Wright-Patterson officials are revisiting their security plans for the Air Force marathon this weekend.

“We looked at our security requirements today and we made a few tweaks and changes to address the threat," says Barlow. "But it’s always a good idea to switch up force protections at the gate so we can ultimately be prepared.”

Barlow did not say specifically what new measures are in place, but says runners should be prepared for enhanced security.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in southwest Ohio says budget tightening has postponed millions of dollars in infrastructure projects at the base this year.

The Dayton Daily News reports the delayed projects at Wright-Patterson include installing miles of water lines in different areas and replacing heating and ventilation equipment at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Spokesman William Hancock tells the newspaper the projects aren't being undertaken in the current fiscal year but haven't been canceled. The next fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

Officials at Ohio's largest military base are bracing for more potential spending cuts.

The Dayton Daily News reports a Pentagon directive to reduce spending at management headquarters could affect the Air Force Materiel Command offices at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The directive from the secretary of defense calls for the 20 percent cut over five years. Details aren't yet known.

Five companies will compete to build a new $46 million aircraft and space gallery to open in 2015 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in southwest Ohio.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will select the winning bid for construction of the 224,000-square-foot building for the museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton. The building will house rare presidential and research and development aircraft, spacecraft and cargo planes.

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