WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) announced the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama authorizes $12.6 million to consolidate the operations of two active Entry Control Points (ECPs) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). This consolidation would improve security and traffic flow at the base.
The NDAA also authorizes $14.4 million for facilities upgrades, equipment installation, and other projects that increase energy efficiency and approximately $1.1 billion for Air Force Research and Development projects and programs run out of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at WPAFB.
“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is critical to our nation’s military and to southwest Ohio’s economy,” Brown said. “This law is an important step in ensuring that Wright-Patterson has the funding needed to upgrade its facility, enhance safety, and bolster the important research being done on base. We will continue working with our Senate colleagues to maintain our commitment to Wright-Patterson.”
“Keeping Ohio’s aerospace industry strong and competitive is critical not only to our state’s economy, but to the national security of the United States,” Portman said. “This legislation — now law — will ensure that the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base remains a national leader in delivering world-class national security capabilities to our men and women in uniform by providing resources to help protect and improve the base.”
In August 2015, Brown urged U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to include funding for this project in the President’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget and, in March 2016, he wrote to the Senate Armed Service Committee supporting the gate consolidation. Congress will now need to appropriate the resources necessary to fund construction.