“We’ve got a legacy of accomplishing big things (in Ohio) and in a world that is as challenging, dynamic and as dangerous as the world has become today keeping a technological edge for our own national security is vitally important,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta.
Defense leaders have pushed for community partnerships to lower costs in an era of defense spending budget caps, too.
Sequestration, or automatic cuts to the defense budget, caused Wright-Patterson to pursue partnerships outside the fence line in 2014, said Cassie B. Barlow, former Wright-Patterson installation commander.
“To say the word desperate is probably an understatement,” she said at the forum. “We were really looking for opportunities to save money.”
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With a potential base realignment and closure round looming, communities that help bases operate more cost efficiently and produce the technical workforce needed for defense jobs could have an edge when cuts at installations are evaluated, officials said.
To grow more defense-related jobs, state entities must collaborate more to meet the evolving technology needs of the Defense Department, said U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, and a House Appropriations Committee member who has a fighter wing in her congressional district.