Jim Otte With Gov.-Elect Mike DeWine

Gov. DeWine has not yet filled new military liaison cabinet position

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has not nominated anyone for a new cabinet-level position that would focus on military affairs in Ohio.

During the election, DeWine proposed creating a cabinet-level position to protect Ohio military installations, including Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In the Dayton area, the person in the position would work to protect Wright-Patterson, which has an estimated 27,000 civilian and military workers.

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DeWine told this news organization on Sunday that the position has not been filled. He said the position would focus on military bases across the state, including Wright-Patterson and NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

“My commitment is that we’ll have someone at cabinet rank who will be concerned about our military installations all over the state of Ohio,” he said. “That is very important thing. The military supplies an awful lot of jobs in Ohio. Imagine what the impact on the Miami Valley is — having so many scientists … and mathematicians who live in this community.” 

DeWine has filled most of the other positions in his cabinet. He announced retired Maj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst, who served in the Ohio National Guard for nearly 40 years, will fill the Veterans Services cabinet position. She also served as the adjutant general and commander of the State of Ohio, a position she left in 2014. In that role, Ashenhurst commanded the 18,000 personnel of the Ohio Army and Air National Guard, Ohio Military reserve and Ohio Naval Militia.

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