- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Ohio’s largest U.S military base is among four in the country that are being considered as the site for a new center that could result in hundreds of jobs.

Air Force officials said in a statement this week that Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Dayton is one of the candidates for the new Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center. The others in the running are Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas and Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

The Air Force evaluated 10 bases before choosing the final four candidates.

The new center will consolidate installation support authorities, responsibilities and resources under one commander, according to a statement from Timothy Bridges, deputy assistant secretary for installations.

“The consolidation will drive standardized processes, eliminate overhead and drive down costs,” Bridges said.

He said it makes good business sense to centralize installation support the way other support functions, including science and technology, are centralized.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said the project could bring 350 jobs to Wright-Patterson.

The Democrat from Ohio, who is co-chairman of the Senate Air Force Caucus, said he would continue to urge the Air Force to choose the Ohio base. Brown and other members of the Ohio congressional delegation sent a letter to the secretary of the Air Force last month urging officials to locate the mission at Wright-Patterson.

“Wright Patterson is the crown jewel of the Air Force,” Brown said. “The base is the correct, strategic location for this Installation and Mission Support Center.”

Teams will visit the bases to conduct site surveys and draft cost estimates involved in locating the center at any of the bases.

“As we progress through the basing process, we will share information so interested communities are aware of what to expect.” Bridges said.

Air Force officials expect to announce their decision early next year.

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