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DC Fly-In
A seven-person delegation visited Washington D.C. to thank our congressional delegation for its support and give an update on The Base.

March 28, 2007

A seven-person delegation representing the public-private partnership that epitomizes The Base visited Washington D.C. to meet with U.S. Senator Voinovich, Congressman Space, and Congressman Tiberi as well as staff of U.S. Senator Brown, Congressman Hobson, and the Washington Office of Governor Strickland.

Unlike many visits to The Hill, including one in 1993 when Newark Air Force Base found itself on the BRAC closure list, this visit didn't find the Base's delegation in crisis mode. The visit was intended to thank the congressional delegation for the variety of ways it has supported the Base. The visit also gave a chance to update members or, for many of their staff members, acquaint them for the first time with the Central Ohio Aerospace and Technology Center--its impact and its key workloads.

Joining in the 20-hour day-long series of meetings that was called the DC Fly-In, were:

  • Al Bonacci, General Mgr., BAE Systems
  • Tim Bubb, Licking County Commissioner
  • Dan Dupps, Mayor, City of Heath
  • Mike Emmelhainz, Center Director, Boeing
  • Ben Fullen, Program Manager, Bionetics
  • Fred Paul, Board Member, Port Authority
  • Rick Platt, Director, Port Authority

    The day was organized and funded by the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority as part of its ongoing caucus-building strategy aimed at increasing knowledge among federal, state, and local officials about the value and impact of the COATC.

    Base TV captured the day on film, but without audio. See a trio of video clips from the DC Fly-In.

    Port Authority Director Rick Platt offers this summation of the day:

    What a memorable day! After a flight from Port Columbus to Reagan National, Washington was found to be a perfect day--in the 60's and mostly clear skies. The District of Columbia's famous cherry blossoms were in full bloom.

    The delegation arrived to meet with Congressman Space just before he headed off for a meeting with Speaker Pelosi. The venue for the informal discussion was the very formal Statutory Hall, the former House chamber. Though a freshman member of Congress with less than three full months on the job, Congressman Space showed seasoned knowledge of The Base and the needs of his district. The discussion included a preview of some of the issues he expects to take on in coming months, many of which will have an impact on The Base.

    An escort through the catacombs of the Capitol brought the group to the Senate side for a sit down with staff of Senator Brown. His staff sparked discussions about matching the Base's needs up with the things that the Senator's office, in concert with other federal and state officials, can do to be of help. It was a productive visit expected to bring much follow up.

    Despite a hectic schedule that included floor votes, U.S. Senator Voinovich was able to meet with the delegation to get an update on the success since privitization. Voinovich reminded the group of his involvement dating back to 1993 when he was Governor and the BRAC announcement first came. His Washington staff expects to visit The Base personally in 2007.

    A lunch with Governor Strickland's Washington Office Chief Drew McCracken gave the group a chance to recharge its batteries while also gaining insight on the new Governor's plans for integrating his Turnaround Ohio agenda with the entire Ohio Congressional Delegation in a bi-partisan way.

    Congressman Tiberi invited the group into his personal office for an update. Tiberi had been on the staff of former Congressman Kasich when the 1993 closure was announced. Congressman Tiberi indicated one distinctive way he remembers The Base. When he has corporate lobbyists in asking for him to take action on items of national importance to the company, he reminds them of facilities that corporation has back in Ohio.

    A former Denison University student greeted our group at the Office of Congressman Dave Hobson. An unscheduled stop at the Rayburn HOB office to drop off briefing materials became the last, official stop of the day.

    Regrettably, it would be 10 hours later before our seven-person delegation would be back home. Connecting flights coupled with airport delays caused the one-day trip to creep into day two. A day that began at 4:30 a.m., didn't end until after midnight.

    County Commissioner Tim Bubb, himself no stranger to The Base dating back to his days employed here in the public information office, called the day a day of cementing relationships, to cement jobs. That's the day in a nutshell.

    News Clips
    Base TV: Meeting with Rep. Space
    Base TV: Meeting with Rep. Tiberi
    Base TV: DC Fly-In Delegation
    Advocate: Authority Gets Message Across
    Advocate: Authority Plans for Future
    WNKO: Heading to Washington
    This Week: Going to Washington

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