House defense bill approves $120M-plus for WPAFB, Springfield base

Aerial view of what was in 2010 the new Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. File photo by Ty Greenlees

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Aerial view of what was in 2010 the new Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. File photo by Ty Greenlees

Defense budget goes before a full House vote later this month.

A House Armed Services Committee vote early Thursday adds $24 billion to President Biden’s defense budget request and secures more than $120 million for new military construction at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Springfield-Beckley Airport and other Ohio locations.

ExploreAir Force sees need for $24M Wright-Patt child care center

Military construction initiatives passed by the committee include $24 million for a new Wright Patterson child development center. According to the office of U.S. Rep Mike Turner, R-Dayton, the committee has also approved:

• For an Army Reserve Training Center just outside the Wright-Patterson fence line: $19 million.

• For the Human Performance Wing Laboratory at Wright-Patterson: $40 million.

• For a Bionatronics Research Center Laboratory, also at Wright-Patterson: $33.8 million.

• For a base-wide microgrid at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport: $4.7 million.

• For the Red Horse Logistics Complex at the Camp Perry Joint Training Center, near Port Clinton, Ohio: $7.8 million.

• For widening an assault strip at Youngstown Air Reserve Station: $8.7 million.

In all, the committee added $23.9 billion to the Biden administration’s request of $715 billion for defense, for a total of $738.9 billion.

“Early this morning in the Armed Services Committee, I voted to increase President Biden’s inadequate defense budget that would have left our military without the support they need to keep our nation safe. I was also able to include significant funding for Wright-Patt,” Turner said in a statement Thursday. “This legislation helps ensure that our men and women in uniform have the necessary resources to fight terrorism and combat the increasing threats from Russia and China.”

The committee also voted to support the establishment of a Space National Guard, a key difference with the Senate’s defense bill.

Among other features, the bill backs procurement of 80 F-35 aircraft for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. It also provides additional funding for 12 Air Force F-15EX tactical fighter aircraft, an Air Force unfunded priority.

The new child development center for Wright-Patterson was also an Air Force unfunded priority.

“This year the defense bill focuses on transforming DoD to better deter our adversaries while taking advantage of new, innovative technologies and implementing more cost-effective approach to develop and acquire crucial platforms,” said U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. “The future of our defense depends on our committee’s tough policy discussions about what DoD needs, how to fill these needs, and the necessary tradeoffs to ensure the United States maintains a competitive edge over its adversaries.”

The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act or defense budget will go before a full House vote later this month.

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is the home of Air Force logistics and acquisition efforts.

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