TRAFFIC ALERT

Fatal accident closes lanes of I-70 EB near South Vienna

Wright-Patt would gain new NASIC building in proposed budget


Wright-Patterson scored “a huge win” when the Pentagon announced Monday its proposed budget contains an $116.1 million expansion at the National Air and Space Intelligence Center, an official said.

The construction project was included in a new $716 billion fiscal year 2019 defense budget rolled out that increased $16 billion from the previous year and one defense leaders pointed to as a return of “great power” military rivalry with China and Russia and threats from North Korea and Iran

“This is one of the single biggest construction projects in Wright-Patt’s history,” said Michael Gessel, Dayton Development Coalition vice president of federal programs, one of the largest since construction of the Maj. Gen. Harry G. Armstrong complex that houses the Air Force School of Aerospace Space Medicine.

Under the budget proposal, the Air Force would add dozens of new planes, boost depleted readiness, give military personnel a 2.6 percent pay hike, and by 2020 add 4,000 more airmen to active duty ranks and 700 to the Air National Guard and reserve.

The $156.3 billion Air Force budget request for 2019 is 6.6 percent higher than the current fiscal year.

The increase would boost Wright-Patterson’s work in acquisitions, research, and intelligence, and mean more troops, planes and ships throughout the military, documents show.

RELATED: Two-year spending deal gives big boost to defense spending, Wright-Patterson

NASIC has cited overcrowded and outdated spaces. The size of the workforce has grown nearly 90 percent since 2000. The need for space hasn’t kept pace with the growth, said Michelle Martz, a NASIC spokeswoman.

The intelligence production complex addition could be tied to renovations on NASIC’s campus, she added.

In October, the secretive intelligence agency had a ceremonial ribbon-cutting for a $29.5 million foreign materials exploitation facility for a 58,000-square-foot building to dissect adversaries weapons technology.

On Monday, U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, praised the decision to build a new NASIC facility.

Brown included the project in a list of Ohio military construction priorities sent to Secretary of Defense James Mattis in January and raised the issue with Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, his office said.

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton and a member of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement the budget was “a good starting point for funding American priorities in the coming year.”

With a new influx of billions in additional spending, the defense budget notably does not include a push to close or realign military bases. Congress agreed to a two-year budget deal last week spanning this fiscal year and the next.

RELATED: Trump calls for end of military budget sequester

“What we do know is that this budget deal overall was a big win for defense,” Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis, said recently in an email. “This is the highest level of spending anyone had proposed or talked about.”

He said the spending plan “places a high priority on modernizing weapon systems and relatively less priority on growing the size of the force to the levels President Trump campaigned on in 2016.”

Loren B. Thompson, a senior defense analyst at the Virginia-based Lexington Institute, said the budget will make it “much easier for the Air Force to sustain a high rate of readiness while replacing Cold War fighters, bombers and tankers. It is the best news Wright Patterson has gotten since Congress capped defense budgets in 2011.”

Still, he noted in an email with the national debt at a record and growing $20 trillion, rising interest rates could make ongoing jumps in defense spending unsustainable beyond 2019.

Air Force research, development test and evaluation spending would rise to $30.4 billion in 2019, up from $25.6 billion today. Major research priorities target hypersonics, artificial intelligence, unmanned autonomy and nanotechnology, the Air Force said.

RELATED: Some of the U.S.’s most secretive work will be done in new NASIC building

The Air Force Research Laboratory, which has about a $5 billion annual budget, is headquartered at Wright-Patterson.

The Air Force has targeted modernization of its aging nuclear force with development of a replacement for land-based nuclear-tipped missiles and more money for space-based systems.

Procurement would jump to $16.2 billion next year from $15.3 billion, including money for 48 F-35A stealth fighters, 15 KC-46 tankers, a new combat rescue helicopter and funds to re-engine more than half-century old B-52 bombers that are part of the nuclear bomber force.

Spending on development of the next generation B-21 Raider bomber would rise to $2.3 billion, from $2 billion this year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Clark County leaders developing plans for trip to Japan
Clark County leaders developing plans for trip to Japan

Board members with the Community Improvement Corp. of Clark County on Thursday discussed an upcoming trip to meet with business leaders in Japan and progress on two studies being conducted with assistance from the University of Cincinnati. Three workforce development officials are traveling to Japan in November for about 10 days to develop closer ties...
Amber Alert: Boy, 6, taken from father's West Virginia home
Amber Alert: Boy, 6, taken from father's West Virginia home

An Amber Alert was issued in West Virginia after a 6-year-old boy was taken from his father’s home, officials said. >> Read more trending news  Akexton Steele was taken from the home in Ohio County about 9 p.m. after family members of his father’s estranged ex-wife used an ax to break in, officials said. There was then a confrontation...
6 people, including 3 infants, stabbed at New York City day care
6 people, including 3 infants, stabbed at New York City day care

At least six people, including three infants, were stabbed at a New York City day care center Friday morning, WNBC reported. >> Read more trending news  Police were called to the day care center in Queens around 3:40 a.m., WPIX reported. A 52-year-old woman with apparent self-inflicted knife wounds was taken into custody, the television...
Pedestrian struck, killed on I-70 near South Vienna in Clark County
Pedestrian struck, killed on I-70 near South Vienna in Clark County

A pedestrian was struck and killed on eastbound I-70, just west of Ohio 54 Friday morning.  State troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol say the vehicle that struck the victim fled the scene. The male victim’s name was not released.  The left and middle lanes on eastbound I-70 are closed until further notice. Drivers can use U...
Sister: Springfield Twp. stabbing victim ‘devoted her life to her family’
Sister: Springfield Twp. stabbing victim ‘devoted her life to her family’

A Clark County woman is facing a long recovery after her husband allegedly cut her throat Thursday morning in the couple’s home. She “devoted her life to her family. She was a young mother. She put her life on hold to raise her daughter and give her the best life possible,” the victim’s sister said in a statement Thursday. The...
More Stories