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Looking back at 2019 at Wright-Patt: Community engagement, facilities

Members of the 88th Security Forces Squadron work the recently constructed and opened Gate 26A at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Nov. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ty Greenlees)
Members of the 88th Security Forces Squadron work the recently constructed and opened Gate 26A at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Nov. 18. (U.S. Air Force photo/Ty Greenlees)

Throughout 2019, there were many significant milestones achieved by organizations across Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Here are some of the events, awards, advancements and other activities that contributed to the overall success of various missions:

Community Engagement

Wright-Patterson AFB is the community and the community is Wright-Patterson AFB. Airmen from across the base provide thousands of volunteer hours to various private and public organizations and schools throughout the area. Our community partners reciprocate and provide tremendous support in countless ways through military appreciation events at local universities, sporting events, and arts and cultural venues. Events such as Hometown Heroes with the Dayton Dragons; major league football, baseball and hockey sporting events; NCAA collegiate games, including the First Four Hoopla; performing arts at the Victoria Theater, Schuster Center and the Dayton Performance Arts Alliance; and leading new recruits in their oath of enlistment at various venues, have become a staple of the Miami Valley.

Constructions/Facilities

• Wright-Patterson Medical Center began renovations Feb. 1 to improve the structural foundation of the main lobby, overhead ceiling and atrium, and to upgrade the overall appearance of the facility. The construction will be completed in three phases and is expected to run through March 2020.

• Numerous personnel celebrated the grand re-opening of Rockers Lounge at the Wright-Patterson Club Feb. 8. Various renovations were made. The lounge was originally a place designated for enlisted personnel but is now open to all ranks.

• A ground-breaking ceremony for the first-ever shared Above-Secret Department of Defense super computer facility was held Feb. 26. The ability to share supercomputers at higher classification levels will allow programs to get their supercomputing work done quickly while maintaining necessary security.

• AFIT leadership, along with staff members with the longest and the shortest time with AFIT, and representatives of the student body and the Ohio Air National Guard Red Horse detachment, cut the ribbon of the institute’s pavilion May 23 on Hobson Way, Area B. The Red Horse detachment demolished the old pavilion and built the new one as a training opportunity for its members.

• AFRL’s Gaming Research Integration for Learning Laboratory celebrated not only its new location but also a new partnership with the Dayton Regional STEM School in a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 7. The GRILL’s new space is part of the local STEM school’s 30,000-square-foot expansion, which also includes five classrooms, a science laboratory, an assembly space and the Vectren Innovation Laboratory.

• Wright-Patterson AFB has another avenue for employees and visitors to get on base now that the newly constructed gate 26A is open for traffic flow for commercial and passenger vehicles after an official ribbon cutting Nov. 13. The new gate is located along State Route 235 in Area A and connects to Loop Road. It acts as the commercial vehicle inspection area, replacing Gate 16A.

• The Wright-Patterson Medical Center has earned ENERGY STAR certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for 2019. This recognition is awarded to buildings that outperform 75 percent of similar buildings nationwide. This is the first year that WPMC has earned the ENERGY STAR.