10 major Wright-Patt updates that happened in June


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base got a new installation commander, UDRI landed a $72 million Air Force contract, and the Dayton VA Medical Center named a new associate director. Here’s what you need to know about what happened in military and veteran news last month:

1. New base leader at Wright-Patt

Col. Thomas P. Sherman made two firsts in June: He made his first trip to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, and he became the installation commander of the largest Air Force base by population. The 44-year-old California native and Air Force Academy graduate who served in Afghanistan and Iraq replaces Col. Bradley McDonald, who retired after a 24-year career in uniform and will return to his native Idaho.

Sherman, a six-time commander who has an extensive background in base security forces around the world, was a detachment commander at the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., before taking on his new job. READ MORE

2. Defense bill blocks transfer of Wright-Patt jobs, senator says

A manufacturing technology office with 55 jobs could not be transferred from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson to the Pentagon under a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act passed in the Senate. The initiative with oversight for the entire military identifies manufacturing needs critical to national defense and gives grants to support manufacturing production so the capability remains viable in the United States, officials have said.

3. UDRI lands $72 million Air Force contract

The University of Dayton Research Institute has landed a $72 million, six-year contract that provides research and engineering support to the Air Force Research Laboratory. The work, part of AFRL’s Quick Reaction Evaluation of Materials and Processes program, includes testing of environmentally friendly technologies, determining the cause of component failures , evaluating materials and protective coatings on advanced aerospace systems, among other things. READ MORE

4. Dayton water quality: What we know now about potentially dangerous chemicals

Some Dayton drinking water may contain a potentially dangerous substance that previously caused several local water wells to be shut down, officials say. The city of Dayton and Montgomery County are notifying customers about the substance, which was detected in treated water at Dayton’s Ottawa Water Treatment Plant.

The substance has been used in firefighting chemicals at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and at Dayton’s firefighting training center, this news organization previously reported. READ MORE

5. Fairborn firm lands nearly $25 million defense deal

A Fairborn defense contractor has landed a seven-year, $24.9 million cyber research deal with the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Department of Defense said. The Design Knowledge Co. will develop the Innovative Cyber/Infrastructure Threat Assessment Environment Mission Assurance program to assess microelectronics, cyber threats and security vulnerabilities and situational awareness and malware protections, among other priorities. READ MORE

6. Top Air Force leaders gather at Wright-Patt

The Air Force’s top leadership brass was at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base this week in an annual closed-door gathering known as Corona Top. Air Force officials were tight lipped on the meeting this year, but the event focused on strategy, acquisition, science and technology and innovation, according to Air Force spokesman Michael Martin. READ MORE

7. Today’s veterans include more women, minorities

New Census Bureau figures show the post 9/11 generation of veterans is the most diverse in history, helping to erase some of the stereotypes of the past. Nearly half of those who served after 9/11 are under the age of 35. Of that group, 17 percent are women, 15.3 percent are African-American and 12.1 are Hispanic, according to the Census. READ MORE

8. Pentagon told to cut spending on F-35 program

The Pentagon has agreed to resolve major technical deficiencies with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter before moving ahead with full-rate production, according to the Government Accountability Office.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has a large stake in the future of the jet as a contender to manage the Air Force version of the F-35, congressional lawmakers have said. READ MORE

9. Dayton VA names new associate director

The Dayton VA Medical Center has a new associate director. Jennifer DeFrancesco, 30, has permanently taken over the $128,000-a-year post after serving as acting associate director for a year.

DeFrancesco, a Pittsburgh, Pa., native, began her career as a biomedical engineer at the Indianapolis VA Medical Center in 2010.In Dayton, she will supervise 11 administrative departments leaders, such as the chiefs of engineering, fiscal services, human resources, pharmacy, prosthetics, and the campus police force, and a workforce of about 800 employees. READ MORE

10. Air Force grounds B-1B bombers

The Air Force grounded its fleet of B-1B Lancer bombers because of concerns with its ejection seat, Global Strike Command said in a statement. Air Force leaders discovered an issue with the ejection seat components during an emergency landing of a B-1 in Midland, Texas, which led to the safety stand down, the command said in a statement. READ MORE

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