Defense spending drops in Ohio for second year in a row.

New DOD report ranks Ohio at No. 20 for defense spending among the states

The amount of federal defense spending in Ohio has dropped the past two years, but Greene County remains the No. 1 county for funding disbursed in the state to contractors and military bases, according to Department of Defense data.

With $8.9 billion in defense spending in fiscal 2022, Ohio ranks at No. 20 among the 50 states, garnering 1.6% of total U.S. defense spending, a recent DOD report says. And with $5.1 billion in defense contracts, Ohio is pretty much in the middle of the field, ranked at No. 23.

In 2021, Ohio ranked at 18 with $9.9 billion spent in the state, according to that year’s DOD report. In 2020, the state was ranked 17 with spending at $11.6 billion.

The Buckeye State was ranked 18 in fiscal 2019 with $10 billion in defense spending; the state was also ranked 19 in fiscal 2018 at $9.6 billion in defense dollars spent.

No surprise: Among the services, the Air Force gets the lion’s share of the state’s defense spending, at 56%, the report shows.

There are some familiar Dayton-area names among the state’s top defense contractors, the report shows.

General Electric or GE Aerospace, with some 1,400 Dayton-area employees, ranks first among Ohio defense contractors, with $752 million in contracts in fiscal 2022, the report states.

West Chester Twp.-based CFM International is second, with nearly $332 million in contracts that year.

Riverside Research Institute, which has offices in Beavercreek, W.A. Baxter & Sons Ltd and the University of Dayton round out the state’s top five defense contractors, the report shows. UD saw $157.4 million in contracts in the most recent complete fiscal year, according to this report.

Among the Ohio counties receiving the most defense spending, several are in the Dayton area, with Greene County topping the list at $1.5 billion in fiscal 2022, followed by Montgomery County with nearly $788 million, Butler County at $376 million and Miami County at just over $90 million.

And among counties called home by the highest number of defense personnel, Greene leads the list in Ohio, with 5,170 active-duty residents and 14,785 civilian DOD-employed residents, according to the report.

Virginia, Texas, and California topped the list of recipients for overall defense spending, the DOD said. Texas, Connecticut, and North Carolina had the largest overall increases in defense spending from fiscal 2021 to 2022.

“Our industrial base is one of our greatest competitive advantages, and this report enables our state, local, and industry partners to visualize the full scope of our investments as we focus on fostering a resilient and robust defense ecosystem,” said Radha Plumb, deputy under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

“We know state and local leaders are eager to support the resiliency of military installations and the modernization of the defense industrial base,” said Patrick O’Brien, director of the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation. “The contract, grant, and personnel data in this report presents governors, local officials, and other leaders with topline information to help them target their efforts.”

According to JobsOhio, the state’s private development arm, Ohio is home to more than 380,000 federal and military installation jobs, delivering nearly $40 billion in gross regional product.

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