Gen. John Raymond, chief of space operations at U.S. Space Force, has confirmed to U.S. Rep. Mike Turner’s office that a new National Space Intelligence Center will be located a Wright-Patterson Air Force Base — a decision that almost certainly means new jobs at the base, which is the Dayton area’s and Ohio’s largest single-site employer.
“Gen Raymond spoke with Rep Turner this afternoon,” a major in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force wrote in an e-mail Wednesday to the military legislative assistant for Turner. “He reiterated his intent to have the National Space Intelligence Center (NSIC) co-located with the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC) at Wright-Patterson AFB. This is consistent with the CSO’s (chief of Space Operations) Planning Guidance for Space Force published 9 November 2020.”
Turner hailed the news Wednesday, saying it confirms that space, as a domain of concern for the United States military, should strengthen and not dilute Wright-Patterson’s mission.
“Space is a growth mission; it’s a mission that will grow at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Turner told the Dayton Daily News exclusively. “It’s additional jobs, that aren’t currently in the mission plan, for growth at Wright-Patt.”
Michelle Martz, chief of public and legislative affairs for NASIC, told the Dayton Daily News Tuesday that, at stand up, the new National Space Intelligence Center will be comprised of the two squadrons transferring from NASIC.
“They will continue to work side-by-side with their counterparts at NASIC, just as they do today, working together to deliver unique collection, exploitation, and analytic capabilities to the nation,” Martz said. “A number of NASIC personnel transferred to the USSF (U.S. Space Force) in September, and more will transfer in the coming months.”
In time, new jobs are to be expected, Turner believes.
“When Space Force was formed, our biggest threat to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was that NASIC may be broken up,” said the congressman, who is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and related subcommittees. “Our goal was to ensure that not only NASIC would stay intact, but that the mission at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base would grow to include space intelligence for Space Force.”
He added: “Today, we have Space Commander Gen. Raymond publicly confirming his recommendation that that occur.”
In recent months, Turner has pressed the Pentagon for assurances that Space Force won’t dilute missions at the local Air Force base, which has more than 30,000 uniformed and civilian employees.
“Standup of the National Space Intelligence Center means growth, jobs, and continued relevance for Wright-Patterson in an increasingly space-dominated national defense environment,” said Jeff Hoagland, president and chief executive of the Dayton Development Coalition. “Having a major Space Force mission here on the base is assurance that we will continue to be at the cutting edge of national defense in space and aerospace. In addition, this gives the region more opportunities for synergy in attracting new defense space missions and space-related industry.”
NASIC has grown steadily over the years. This month, ground was broken for a new $156 million, five-story complex for NASIC at Wright-Patt, which should be occupied by 2025.
NASIC is tasked with analyzing new air, space, missile, and cyber threats facing the Air Force and Space Force.
The nation’s newest military branch, Space Force, is part of the Department of the Air Force.
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