88th Air Base Wing
The 88th Air Base Wing is the host organization for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Wing supports and maintains more than 8,000 acres, 1,600 buildings and provides operational support for more than 60 associate units located at Wright-Patterson. The Wing manages two runways supporting an average of 47,000 aircraft operations annually in addition to handling the payroll, keeping records on the workforce, maintaining infrastructure, providing security, communications, medical, contracting, transportation, air traffic control, weather forecasting, legal and chaplain services.
The Wing is comprised of more than 5,000 officers, enlisted, Air Force civilian and contractor employees. The Wing is responsible for three primary missions: operating the installation; deploying expeditionary Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism; and defending the base and its people.
The Wing's 88th Medical Group operates the third largest U.S. Air Force medical center, handles 315,000 outpatient visits annually and regularly deploys trained medical personnel. The 88th Communications Group provides computer network, telephone and radio support to more than 20,000 base users and operates the largest telephone plant in the Air Force with more than 36,000 active phone lines. The 88th Mission Support Group oversees the largest Services Division in the Continental U.S., providing recreation, fitness, library, food service and youth programs for base personnel, retirees and their families. The Wing also hosts the annual U.S. Air Force Marathon, attracting thousands of the nation's top long-distance runners each September.
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is one of the nation's most important military installations. The base has a rich aviation heritage. It was here in 1904 and 1905 on Huffman Prairie Flying Field where the Wright Brothers "really learned to fly". Here they flew the first turn, circle, and figure eight. From 1910 to 1916 the brothers operated a flying school at Huffman Prairie. Among their 119 students were Henry "Hap" Arnold who commanded the Army Air Forces in World War II and H. Roy Brown, the Canadian ace who was credited with shooting down the Red Baron in World War I. Today, just off the end of Runway 23, a marker, sign and replica of the Wright Brothers 1905 hanger and catapult launcher commemorate the exact location of their early aviation accomplishments. In 1992, Huffman Prairie became one of four sites in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park .
Steeped in tradition, Wright Patterson Air Force Base has been a leader in military aviation development from the time of airplane inventors Wilber and Orville Wright to today's aerospace age.
The base is headquarters for a vast, worldwide logistics system, a world-class laboratory research function, and is the foremost acquisition and development center in the U.S. Air Force. More than 60 associate organizations representing a broad spectrum of Air Force and Department of Defense activities call Wright-Patterson home. By many measures, the base is compared to a medium sized community. The base's total economic impact to the local community is nearly $3.6 billion annually.
Approximately 22,000 military members, civilian and government contractor employees work on the base making Wright-Patterson the largest single site employer in the state of Ohio and one of the largest employers among Air Forces bases worldwide. Of that figure, approximately 9,700 are military members and almost 13,000 are civilian or contractor employees. The fiscal year 2005 payroll to Wright-Patterson employees was more than $1.3 billion.
Nearly all major advances in aviation have their roots at Wright-Patterson. The birthplace, home and future of aerospace - that's what Wright-Patterson is about. The heritage of a legendary past spurs aerospace acquisition specialists, scientists and engineers, and logisticians, educators and trainers to "keep 'em flying," faster, higher, farther and safer than man has ever flown before.