Franklin mayor to deploy with Ohio Air Guard fighter wing

Vice Mayor will fill in while Centers is in Alaska with F-16 crew

He has been a member of the Ohio Air National Guard for the past 14 years, so receiving deployment orders is nothing new for Franklin Mayor Brent Centers.

During his Ohio Air Guard career, Centers has served various deployments around the world including Guam, Africa, Iraq, Jordan and Hungary. While he received a few weeks notice about his upcoming deployment to Alaska, he only received six days notice when he was deployed to Iraq a few years ago.

“Every deployment is different because you get to see and experience different cultures,” Centers said. “This time we’re still in the States and it’s in cold weather.”

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Centers’ day job is serving as the township administrator for Hamilton Twp. in Warren County, and he’s also mayor of the city of Franklin. In the Air Guard, he is a master sergeant and serves as the first sergeant for the medical section of the 180th Fighter Wing based in Toledo. Prior to taking the first sergeant role, he was the crew chief of one of the Wing’s F-16 Fighting Falcons jets.

“I oversaw 13 shops and did the final checkoff on the F-16 before it launched,” he said.

In a few weeks, he and members of the 180th will be heading to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska to participate in an exercise and train with other regular Air Force and state Air Guard units. On this deployment, he will be serving as an F-16 crew chief again.

Centers, 33, is scheduled to deploy sometime in early March and he expects to be in Alaska for at least a month.

“F-16 units deploy about every 18 months for as few as three to six months to a year,” he said.

While he is on active duty deployment, Vice Mayor Todd Hall will be filling in for Centers on Franklin City Council. Hall has been a council member for more than two decades and has served as the city’s mayor before. Centers said he doesn’t expect any “hiccups” on council while he is deployed.

He joined the Ohio Air Guard in 2008 and after serving six years, he got out. However, he missed being in the service and decided to re-join the Ohio Air Guard about a year and a half later.

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“It’s a perfect lifestyle for me,” Centers said. “I get to live my life and have the opportunity to serve when called upon.”

Centers holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University; a master’s degree in public administration from University of Dayton; and a master’s degree in homeland security from Wilmington University.

He and his wife Corrina live in Franklin with their two young daughters.

Centers is in his second term on Franklin City Council and in his third year as the city’s mayor, where he has been vocally aggressive on drug crime. His father, Denny Centers, is a former mayor and was re-elected to another four-year term on council last November. His brother Shane is a Franklin Twp. trustee.

Centers was a candidate in the Republican primary for Congress for the U.S. House District 1 seat but suspended his campaign Jan. 24, citing issues beyond his control due to the uncertainty of the congressional maps.

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