House Intel Committee, nation’s intel leaders plan new Wright-Patt retreat

It will be their second visit to the base in two years.

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is planning another intelligence retreat and briefing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base next week, U.S. Rep. Mike Turner said Monday.

The session will be the second such retreat for top U.S. intelligence and defense principals at Wright-Patterson in two years.

Last spring, participants visiting the base included CIA Director William Burns, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall, National Security Director Gen. Paul Nakasone, Avril Haines, national intelligence director, and 17 members of the intelligence committee.

The visit in April 2023 was the first for the committee.

“They were so floored,” Turner, a Dayton Republican, said Monday of participants’ impressions of Wright-Patterson last year. “They were absolutely interested and willing to come back, and they’re excited to be in Dayton next week, as we turn to what really are the threats this nation is facing.”

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

This year, Turner expects his ranking committee member, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., to join him once again, along with about 30 House members and their staffs. He also expects the CIA director, FBI Director Christopher Wray and others, including leaders of the U.S. Space Force, to join them.

A spokesman for Turner said the retreat will take place Monday and Tuesday, featuring a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Himes. The spokesman said that for safety purposes, he could not share a complete list of the national security leaders who are expected to attend.

Turner leads the intelligence committee as chairman. He is a member of the so-called “Gang of Eight,” a small group of lawmakers and federal officials enjoying prized access to some of the most classified data.

Wright-Patterson is home to the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) and the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC). Those intelligence-gathering missions feed information to other crucial Air Force missions at Wright-Patterson, such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Air Force Materiel Command, as well as policy leaders and national decision-makers.

Turner was at Wright-Patt Monday to celebrate the ribbon cutting on NASIC’s new $156 million Intelligence Production Complex. The construction project — the largest for a single building in base history, according to a Messer construction executive — finished on time and under budget.

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