5 things to know about how Wright-Patt and Dayton region are promoted in Washington

Michael Gessel has spent the last 20 years advocating for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and other Dayton region federal installations as a lobbyist for the Dayton Development Coalition.

Gessel, the coalition’s vice president for federal government programs, spoke to this newspaper about his lobbying efforts and about how what happens in Congress impacts the region and the base, which has about 35,000 military and civilian employees.

Here are five key takeaways from that conversation.

1. The best way to get continued federal support for Wright-Patt and other regional priorities is for the region’s leaders and the community to work together with Ohio’s two U.S. senators and the local members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

2. The base and its missions could be impacted by the turmoil in Congress, including the threat of government shutdowns, budget cuts and continuing resolutions that keep funding at current levels rather than increasing funding.

3. The National Defense Authorization Act passed by Congress in December authorized spending $19.5 million toward phase five planning and design of a new Air Force Life Cycle Management Center acquisition management complex at Wright-Patt, but it won’t happen unless the funding is appropriated in the as-yet-unapproved budget for the current fiscal year.

4. Gessel said Wright-Patt is well-known among decision-makers in Washington, D.C. and most of the talk he hears about the base is about possible expansion of missions or bringing in new missions.

5. Other federal installations in the Dayton region include the Air National Guard Base in Springfield, the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

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