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Randolph Eastern School Corp, Randolph Southern School Corp.,

Booz Allen Hamilton lands $14.7M AFRL deal for combat simulation

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 9:57 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:53 PM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. TY GREENLEES / STAFF FILE PHOTO

A defense contractor has landed a $14.7 million deal to develop virtual combat modeling and simulation technologies, according to the Department of Defense.

The Air Force Research Laboratory awarded the five-year deal to McLean, Va.-based Booz Allen Hamilton, the Defense Department said. Three bidders were in contention for the contract.

RELATED: Wright Patt, defense firm work to protect weapons from cyber attack

The research will be conducted at both Wright-Patterson labs and in McLean, Va., the Defense Department said. AFRL has a worldwide workforce of more than 10,000 employees and is headquartered at Wright-Patterson.

Furloughed Wright Patt workers will be paid

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 4:02 PM


            AWright-Patterson Air Force Base. STAFF FILE PHOTO
            STAFF/File
AWright-Patterson Air Force Base. STAFF FILE PHOTO(STAFF/File)

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base furloughed about 8,600 civil service employees during a short-lived federal government closure, the most at the state’s largest single-site employer since a shutdown last struck less than five years ago.

Federal employees who were furloughed or who worked during a three-day partial federal government closure Saturday through Monday will be paid under legislation Congress endorsed to end the standoff.

But many who left the job or were told to keep working during the shutdown harbor concerns it could happen once more when a short-term stopgap funding measure that reopened the government ends Feb. 8, according to Troy Tingey, president of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 214.

The council represents thousands of workers at Wright-Patterson.

“They’re very frustrated out there in the shops, very frustrated and worry that it could happen again,” said Tingey, who is at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and took calls from Air Force employees across the country. “… I was probably getting a call every five or 10 minutes yesterday for the first four hours.”

A shutdown ‘routine’

While this short-lived closure wasn’t expected to have a large impact on base operations, it has created instability and concern it’s now a routine, according to Michael Gessel, Dayton Development Coalition vice president of federal programs.

RELATED: Thousands head back to work at Wright-Patt as shutdown ends

“The long-term effect of this is instability in the government and one more reason for government workers to be frustrated with their employer,” he said. “This kind of thing which now happens on a regular basis makes it difficult to retain and recruit the best talent which Wright-Patterson needs.

“Because the shutdown was so short, it is not likely to have significant effects on the operations of Wright-Patterson, but cumulatively this kind of thing can be very detrimental, and it’s not just to Wright-Patterson. It’s to federal installations all over the country.”

Since September, Congress has passed four short term spending resolutions while it attempts to pass a fully funded budget that includes defense spending for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The latest impasse between Democrats and Republicans sparked a standoff that led to the shutdown.

RELATED: Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinement to return to Dayton in 2020

In October 2013, a partial federal government shutdown sent about 8,700 civil service workers at the base on furlough.

“Given that a shutdown should never occur, there is no reason that there should ever be a government shutdown happening this close on the heels of the last shutdown, it’s moving to routine,” Gessel said. “Some of the federal agencies simply took their 2013 shutdown plans and implemented them.”

Air Force museum reopens

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force reopened Tuesday. The sprawling complex, home to hundreds of airplanes and an iconic presidential aircraft collection, closed after opening four hours Saturday.

RELATED: SHUTDOWN: Air Force museum closes; Wright-Patt workers face furlough

Spokeswoman Diana Bachert said the museum opened at 9 a.m. Saturday and had not yet received a closure order from the Air Force Materiel Command.

Once the order was in hand, the museum closed by 1 p.m. after nearly 1,500 people had entered and scheduled activities were canceled.

By comparison, over the same three-day period in January 2017, nearly 4,700 people visited on a Saturday, 2,220 on a Sunday, and about 600 on a Monday, museum statistics show.

The museum also furloughed about 95 workers during the brief shutdown.

The National Park Service’s Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center near Wright-Patterson and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center in Dayton shuttered Saturday and remained closed while more than a dozen staff members were furloughed.

The centers were due to reopen during normally scheduled seasonal hours Wednesday, according to acting park superintendent Kendell Thompson.

“The staff are very relieved and happy to be back at work,” he said Tuesday.

Wright Patt’s Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine marks 100th

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:30 AM

Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine reaches its Centennial year

Filled with life-like medical mannequins, dark cargo plane fuselages and a centrifuge that spins humans in circles at high speed, the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine is unlike most schools.

One of the biggest prizes gained at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in recent years, the school marked its 100th anniversary in ceremonies Friday.

The $194.5 million school opened in a sprawling new building at Wright-Patterson in 2011 after eight decades in Texas. The move was part of a base realignment and closure process in 2005 that brought about 1,200 jobs to Wright-Patterson. Most of those were in aerospace medicine and sensors research from sites in Texas, Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts and New York.

RELATED: On the cutting edge: Wright-Patterson marks a century of innovation in 2017

“We’ve been training flight surgeons for 100 years,” said Col. Alden Hilton, the school’s commander. Today, it also educates flight nurses, enlisted aeromedical technicians, and critical care medical teams, among others.

“These medical personnel are already experienced clinicians,” Hilton said. “But it’s very different to practice medicine in the back of an airplane where it’s dark, very, very noisy and vibration and other movements and what you have with you is all that you’ve got.”

The massive school traces its origins to Hazelhurst Field, N.Y., where it opened as the Medical Research Laboratory of the Air Service in 1918 in the infancy of Army aviation.

RELATED: Stealth bombers, UFO rumors, test pilots among Wright Patterson’s past 100 years

A faculty and staff of about 950 train 4,000 students a year at Wright-Patterson. The school trains airmen in aeromedical evacuations of wounded troops from combat zones to hospitals, has an epidemiology and environmental lab to analyze samples from bases around the world, and researches how to improve human performance with technology as part of the mission of the 711th Human Performance Wing.

Wright-Patterson marked it’s 100th anniversary in 2017.

The base traces its lineage to Dayton’s former McCook Field, an Army airplane engineering research center, Wilbur Wright Field, which prepared airmen for military aviation careers, and the Fairfield Aviation General Support Depot.

Threat of government shutdown wearing on workers

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 5:00 AM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

The specter of a partial federal government shutdown looms at midnight Friday, but many federal employees feel “immune” to the threat of being sent home in a repeated cycle of last-minute stopgap spending measures to avert a shutdown, union leaders say.

“I think employees are actually getting immune to it,” said Troy Tingey, president of the American Federal of Government Employees Council 214, which represents several thousand employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

But many also have lost patience.

“A lot of them are starting to look for other career fields in the private sector,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday from Hill Air Force Base, Utah. “They’ve had about enough of this.” And some are rethinking who should represent them in Congress, he added.

Congressional leaders are faced with the prospect for the fourth time since September voting for a short-term spending measure – called a continuing resolution – to avoid a government shutdown through mid-February. The consequences of a shutdown would likely furlough thousands of civil service workers at Wright-Patterson, as it did in 2013.

The House passed a stopgap spending measure in a 230-to 197-vote late Thursday. The bill now heads to the Senate where its fate was uncertain Friday.

RELATED: What if a government shutdown happened? Five things to know 

President Donald Trump injected confusion by tweeting Thursday that a children’s health care program should not be part of a short-term budget agreement. The White House quickly said Trump indeed supports the House GOP measure, which would extend the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, for six years and keep the government’s doors open through Feb. 16.

Waiting for word

Although a base spokesperson said Wright-Patterson has not received instructions to prepare for a shutdown, the last time a closure happened some civil service employees, such as police, fire, and medical workers, or those who were involved with the protection of life and property, were exempt. Military personnel stayed on the job.

Even so, when they report to work, they would likely not be paid until a funding deal was reached, two Wright-Patterson firefighter union leaders said.

RELATED: Fears grow as shutdown deadline nears

“There is some stresses for some of our guys because they aren’t sure what’s going to happen,” said Brian Grubb, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local F88 at Wright-Patterson.

“I think for some of the newer employees that haven’t had to navigate this or just not knowing how long this potential shutdown could be …. there’s that uncertainty,” said Steven E. McKee, Local F88 secretary-treasurer and a firefighter.

“I can’t imagine a Google, Facebook or Ford Motor co. … running as inefficiently,” McKee said, adding “it’s a huge impediment, a hindrance and it’s not right. It’s not fair to either the federal worker and or the citizen.”

Tingey said many members have lost confidence in Congress and the White House.

“When we get out there and we talk to (employees), they just have lost all confidence and respect in not only in (the) House and Senate, but in the administration as a whole,” he said.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright Patt in a holding pattern

Congressional vote

U.S. Reps. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, and Brad Wenstrup, R-Cincinnati, both members of the House Armed Services Committee, indicated Thursday they would vote for stopgap funding to keep the government open.

“We’re in the sad position of having to vote for another continuing resolution which shortchanges our military and our men and women in uniform,” said Turner, who has Wright-Patterson in his congressional district. “I believe that will pass the House … and then the Senate will be in a position to on a short-term basis continuing funding the government.

“The Senate has to stop holding the budget deal hostage,” Turner added. “They refuse to negotiate and discuss the budget deal until immigration is resolved and the government hasn’t been funded since the end of September. These are unrelated issues. They need to proceed in a decoupled fashion and it’s doing real damage to our military that Senate Democrat leadership continues to take that stand.”

RELATED: Lack of a defense budget raises concerns at Wright-Patterson

Democrats are demanding a deal on legislation to offer protection from deportation to younger immigrants who were brought to the country as children and now are here illegally as a prerequisite for any longer-term government funding agreement. They say the four-week duration of the House continuing resolution is too long and would take the pressure off of immigration negotiations.

“We can’t keep careening from short-term CR to short-term CR. If this bill passes, there’ll be no incentive to negotiate and we’ll be right back here in a month with the same problems at our feet,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.“Eventually, we need to make progress on the biggest issues before us.”

Wenstrup said lawmakers were “diligently” trying to prevent a shutdown.

“I think we’ll get there, but I’ve been wrong before,” he said.

RELATED: Temporary funding prevents shutdown, but hurts military, officials say

Funding the military is the highest priority with the threats the United States faces around the world, he said.

“Although a CR likely will not have what we want in terms of funding our military fully, a CR is probably our least bad option and closing down the government is an even worse option,” said Wenstrup, who added a shutdown would mean training for National Guard and reserve troops would stop.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has not indicate how he will vote on a short-term funding measure. He is waiting to see what is in the legislation before making a decision, his office said Thursday.

“There is no reason for a government shutdown,” the senator said in a statement. “Congress needs to come together and do its job.”

A spokeswoman for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Portman would vote yes on a short-term spending resolution.

“Rob believes both parties have a responsibility to keep the government funded and ensure safety and stability for all Americans, especially those serving in our armed forces,” spokeswoman Emily Benavides said in an email. “He will certainly vote to keep the government open.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Follow the daytondailynews.com and mydaytondailynews.com for the latest news on a potential government shutdown Friday.

First exercise of new year set at Wright Patt

Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 11:51 AM


            Wright-Patterson Air Force Base CONTRIBUTED
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base CONTRIBUTED

Wright-Patterson will launch its first base-wide exercise of 2018 between Jan. 29 to Feb.5, authorities say.

RELATED: Will a shutdown happen? Wright-Patt in holding pattern

Base personnel and visitors may be delayed getting through or out of gateways at times during the security exercise, officials said.

RELATED: Ohio fighter jet unit heads to Baltic region

Communities outside the base may see more emergency vehicles and hear sirens or base-wide announcements during the exercise, officials said.