Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Ohio
Location: 39.827, -84.048 Phone: (937) 257-1110 DSN: 787-1110
Modified: February 21, 2012
Located close to Dayton and spreading over two counties in Ohio – Montgomery and Greene, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is currently the largest military base operated by the Air Force on the United States territory. The general mission of this base is to operate the local airfield, maintain the base and deal with any service you can think of for the over 60 units currently inhabiting the base, from legal and financial services to weather forecasting and medical offices. The name was given in the memory of the Wright brothers, two of the Air Force fathers who started a lot of initiatives in its history. The name was also given after the son of one of the National Cash Register co-founders, who financially helped the base raise. In 1931, the base was renamed in the honor of Frank Patterson, who tragically died during a test mission in 1918. He was caught at more than 4600 m in the air when a technical problem occurred and the wings were basically torn apart.
The area was first used for small tests in the first years of the 20-th century by Orville and Wilbur Wright. As a military installation, the base started to operate from 1918. The Wright brothers solved the mysteries of aerodynamics and basically developed the first flying machines. This is why the US government decided to build the military base on this sacred land. The United States of America joined World War I in 1917. At those times, there were three similar bases located close to Dayton. Two of them were close one to another and were merged in the base you can see today, after they started cooperating and shared some of their facilities.
Between the two world wars, the three bases went through a lot of changes. The two that merged together as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base grew in time and took advantage of a wide variety of updates and improvements. The third one ended up closed, despite the protests of the workers and surrounding communities.
When World War II began, the base went through a major improvement. By 1939, it counted not more than 3700 workers. At the peak of the war, there were not less than 50000 people working for the good run of the base. If before the war the base was bragging with 30 buildings, during the war it grew to over 300 facilities. The actual and official merge of the two bases took place in 1948. Although they were unofficially united, they were still operated independently.
With so many improvements over the years, Wright-Patterson AFB became the most important military facility of the Air Force.
Dozens of units inhabit Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, but the most important one is by far the 88-th Air Force Wing, responsible with the overall run of the base. Other names include the Aeronautical Systems Center, the Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Security Assistance Center. It is worth mentioning that the base hosts dozens of tenant and associate units too.