Leadership Dayton group tours Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

  • Published
  • By Zion Dillahunt
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Fifty members of Leadership Dayton toured Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on April 10 to gain insight into the base’s mission, roles and responsibilities.

Leadership Dayton is the fourth-oldest continuously operating community leadership program in the United States. It aims to identify, educate and motivate community leaders to increase their capacity to serve the Dayton region.

In his first official function as 88th Air Base Wing and installation commander, Col. Dustin Richards welcomed the group and emphasized the importance of partnership and collaboration between the base and community.

“The focus should be on leveraging each other’s capabilities,” he said. “How can we work with the community to find out what you’re doing that we can take advantage of? And what capabilities do we have on base that your organizations can leverage to further build this relationship?”

The group toured several facilities, including the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and 711th Human Performance Wing. It saw the Centrifuge, used for aircrew-acceleration training, research and testing missions, and the USAFSAM High Bay, where deployed aeromedical training takes place.

Next, the group visited the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Rapid Development Integration Facility, which manufactures and modifies aircraft and weapon systems to meet special-operator needs.

Leadership Dayton members also participated in a panel discussion with six Airmen, gaining insights into their lifestyles, careers and backgrounds.

The afternoon featured tours of the 445th Airlift Wing, military working dogs, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Honor Guard and 788th Civil Engineer Squadron’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight.

At the 445th, the group toured a C-17 Globemaster III, the newest and most flexible cargo aircraft in the Air Force inventory.

During their visit to the 88th Security Forces Squadron kennel, members received a mission briefing and witnessed a military working dog demonstration.

The Honor Guard displayed traditional military funeral ceremonies, while the EOD flight showcased its equipment and operations.

“I didn’t realize all the innovation that takes place on the base,” said Steve Black, a Leadership Dayton member from Brixey & Meyer Inc. “Seeing the people, equipment and technology that foster innovation, along with the collaboration of the personnel, was pretty mind-blowing.”

Bonnie Black-Tattershall from Kettering Health said the tour provided a new outlook on Wright-Patterson.

“For me, this was an amazing experience,” she said. “I got a chance to gain an in-depth perspective of the base and further learn about its missions.”

The tour concluded at the Wright-Patt Club, where John Faulkner, 88 ABW vice director, delivered closing remarks.

“Dayton and Wright-Patterson are inextricably linked,” he said. “That’s why we’re opening the base to community leaders, business partners and teachers. We want to show them what we do every day and demonstrate that we’re not a scary place. We rely on you.”