Wright-Patt priority for Brown in bill

For Greene County News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is working on several priorities for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

“Wright-Patterson is an economic anchor in the region and it is critical to our nation’s security,” Brown said. “I will continue to work so that the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is fully utilized and the men and women working at the base have the resources they have earned.”

The Senate Armed Services Committee has included a Brown provision in the base text of the NDAA that would enhance “entrepreneurial sabbaticals,” where U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) scientists from defense laboratories, including the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), have the opportunity to spend time working in the private sector. This opportunity creates connections between the work done at AFRL and the work done by scientists and engineers in the greater Dayton region, enabling transfer of lab-generated technology to small businesses and industry.

Brown also introduced an amendment to enhance education partnerships between defense laboratories and business or law schools. This will increase defense laboratories’ ability to process patents for their research and determine its commercial applicability. This provision would also expand the Department’s authority to provide sabbatical opportunities for faculty and internship opportunities for students that would further support technology transfer.

Following Brown’s urging, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee authorized $6.6 million in federal funding to replace Wright-Patterson’s Kittyhawk satellite pharmacy. In April 2014, Wright-Patterson reported that a robotic prescription filling equipment error caused Tylenol to be found in Robaxin prescriptions, a muscle relaxant. In addition to updating the robotics equipment to reduce the potential for such errors, the new modern facility would include enough room to facilitate patient counseling.

Brown is cosponsoring an amendment that would provide the Air Force with greater authority to enroll non-government civilians at Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) and receive reimbursement from the Department. This would lead to better integration between industry, government, and military professionals.

Brown is also cosponsoring an amendment that would require one of the two Air Force One aircraft currently flying to be displayed at Wright-Patterson’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force once it’s retired in 2023.

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