Wright-Patterson Air Force Base could receive a big chunk of federal funds to expand its National Air and Space Intelligence Center. The money is part of the National Defense Authorization Act. If approved, the $182 million funding package would be the largest in the base’s history.
The National Air and Space Intelligence Center, or NASIC, at Wright-Patt, is the federal Department of Defense’s primary source for information on foreign air and space threats, officals say. The agency is also involved in investigating cybersecurity threats, efforts to modernize Air Force capacity and determine military policy.
Both Ohio United States senators, GOP Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown are calling the $182 million in funding a big win for the defense industry, and for Wright-Patt.
In a statement released Tuesday, Brown said, “this bill will make sure Wright-Patt’s highly skilled workers can continue to do their jobs and help meet our national security needs."
"We were able to get in a number of really important projects for Ohio," Portman told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday.
“This overall is an effort to rebuild our military, and it's a big win for our troops, and I think it's a win for all of us in terms of having a military that's better prepared to deal with the very real threats that are out there,” the Republican lawmaker said.
President Donald Trump is expected to sign the National Defense Authorization Act into law.
NASIC would then use $61 million of the funding to begin construction of new facilities on base starting in July of 2019, officials say.
Wright-Patt officials say NASIC needs to expand to relieve overcrowding related to the center’s growth over the last 10 to 12 years.
Also included in the Defense Authorization Act is more than $1 billion slated for research and development programs at the Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patt.