Service workers at base at risk of cut hours, layoffs

Published: Friday, March 08, 2013 @ 3:26 PM
Updated: Friday, March 08, 2013 @ 3:26 PM

Hundreds of civilian employees at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base dubbed “non-appropriated funded” workers are exempt from furloughs that could affect 13,000 other civilian employees on the base, but they may not be safe from a reduction in work hours or layoffs, one supervisor said.

These workers tend to children in day care, wait tables at restaurants and work on the greens at golf courses, among other jobs across the base. Their salaries are dependent on how much business the locations on base where they work generate, unlike civil service employees whose salaries are appropriated by Congress and part of sequestration.

If fewer customers use the base services, a drop in revenue could mean less hours on the job for the 602 employees Jerry E. Stanfill supervises.

“When the furloughs occur, if the furloughs occur, it could easily affect the number of customers we see in our activities,” said Stanfill, director of the 88th Force Support Squadron at Wright-Patterson. ” … That’s a direct correlation.”

Those service-oriented and seasonal federal employees work in military exchanges and morale, welfare and recreation activities. Among other places, that includes two golf courses, a bowling alley, an airmen’s club, a tennis club, restaurants, outdoor recreation venues, base lodging, a library, and child development and after school youth programs. All told, the sales and activities brought in $23 million in revenue last year and paid $15.3 million in wages.

“A very large number of our employees are family members of our active-duty personnel on the installation,” Stanfill said, or about 15 percent or more than 90 workers.

Separately, the base exchange’s 212 employees, who work at a retail-style department store operated by the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, would be excluded from furloughs because the store’s sales cover workers wages, according to Chris Ward, an AAFES spokesman in Dallas.

The Air Force has about 23,000 “non-appropriated fund” employees and the Department of Defense has 133,000 worldwide, according to Navy Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The 13,000 Wright-Patterson civilian employees potentially confronting 22-day furloughs starting in late April include the base commissary’s estimated 100 workers. Their wages are congressionally appropriated, too, Department of Defense spokespersons said. Those furloughs are expected to trigger the closure of U.S. military commissaries worldwide for one day a week beginning in late April because of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

Commissaries, or military grocery markets, receive federal money that let service members and their families buy products at typically a 30 percent discount compared to a civilian grocery store, according to Kevin L. Robinson, a Defense Commissary Agency spokesman at Fort Lee, Va.

Troy Tingey, president of American Federation of Government Employees Council 214, represents more than 6,500 Wright-Patterson employees facing the possibility of furloughs between late April and the end of September, or about a 20 percent pay cut for that time period. He indicated workers without congressionally appropriated wages should not face unpaid time off work, either.

“The less people that’s furloughed in my mind the better off we are going to be,” he said in a telephone interview from Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

Many of these workers, along with being married to base personnel, are paid at lower rates than other jobs, he said. “If they make $30,000 a year,” Tingey said, “they are probably doing pretty good so that 20 percent would really harm them.”

New commander to oversee air, space, cyber operations at Wright-Patt

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 2:28 PM
Updated: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 2:28 PM

            New commander to oversee air, space, cyber operations at Wright-Patt

A new commander will oversee air, space and cyber operations at the Air Force Materiel Command headquarters, officials say.

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Brig. Gen. Christopher P. Azzano, leader of an aircraft test wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., will take over the AFMC post from Brig. Gen. John S. Shapland.

A change of command date had not been announced.

AFMC is headquartered at Wright-Patterson.

Azzano, a former fighter and test pilot, was a former chief of advanced weapons and sensors division in the Air Force Special Program Directorate at the Pentagon. He has had various unit commander roles, including leader of the 412th Operations Group at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; the 72nd Air Base Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and present commander of the 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB, biographical information shows.

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Azzano has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Purdue and Stanford universities, respectively, and a master’s degree in strategic studies from , his biography shows.

Shapland, an Air Force Academy graduate, former test pilot and an Iraq veteran, has held the post since September 2015.

Former Air Force One crew members hold special event at museum Monday

Published: Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 1:04 PM
Updated: Saturday, February 18, 2017 @ 3:46 PM

Crew members who flew aboard Air Force One presidential aircraft from the Nixon to Obama administrations will answer the public’s questions on Presidents Day at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

The former crew members will be at the museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday.

The museum houses the largest collection of U.S. presidential planes, from the first that flew President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the propeller-powered VC-54C nicknamed the Sacred Cow, to SAM 26000, a Boeing 707 known as President John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One.

The presidential collection was one of the centerpieces of a new $40.8 million hangar that opened in June 2016.

“This program allows people who are associate with these presidential aircraft to engage our visitors with personal stories and interesting facts about the history and heritage of this magnificent presidential collection,” Teresa Montgomery, chief of the museum’s special events division, said in a statement.

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Other presidential aircraft include President Harry S. Truman’s plane nicknamed “The Independence,” a VC-118 that was a military version of the pioneering DC-6 commercial airliner; and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s air transport dubbed “Columbine III,” a Lockheed L.-1049 Super Constellation.

SAM 26000 is among the most famous aircraft in the world serving eight presidents, from Kennedy to Bill Clinton.


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Rare Wright brothers artifact could be valued at more than $1 million

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 7:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 7:24 PM

A propeller signed by Orville Wright could be worth more than $1 million and Congressman Mike Turner wants to make sure the Aviation Hall of Fame doesn’t sell it.

An official with the organization says that won’t happen and that Congressman Turner’s ‘cease and desist’ order has no impact on the organization.

The propeller was appraised at a quarter of a million dollars in 2013.

But because it is the only one of its kind, Hall of Fame officials say it could actually be worth much more.

“People are saying this is worth seven figures, easy,” said NAHF President and Vice Chairman Michael J. Quiello.

Turner and the Hall of Fame have been in an ongoing battle since the group announced last year it was moving its enshrinement ceremony from Dayton to Texas.

Turner claims the organization is in ‘financial crisis’ and wants to make sure it doesn’t sell any of its artifacts.

The eight-foot-and-a-half-foot-long wooden propeller has something Hall of Fame officials say no other airplane artifact is known to have: The signature of Orville Wright, who with his brother Wilbur invented the first practical airplane.


AFRL aims to link with companies, academics

Published: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 @ 9:51 AM

            AFRL aims to link with companies, academics

The Air Force Research Laboratory will link young scientists and researchers with government agencies, academic institutions, and businesses to demonstrate AFRL and the Dayton region’s high-tech economy.

AFRL’s Business and Tech Showcase is set to launch noon to 4 p.m. Monday, March 13, at the Tec^Edge Innovation and Collaboration Center, 5000 Springfield Street.

The AFRL Junior Force Council organized the gathering to strengthen connections between the science and research agency’s young professionals headquartered at Wright-Patterson and local universities and the industrial sector in the Dayton region, according to the Air Force.

“We want to partner our newest AFRL scientists and engineers with local academics and entrepreneurs to advance our research portfolio and the commercial application of AFRL technologies,” Kevin Schmidt, AFRL Junior Council Force president, said in a statement.

For information or to register, visit


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