In an attempt to keep up with other states, Ohio should establish a military affairs office that reports to the governor, according to a new report from a task force chaired by state Rep. Rick Perales (R). The office would craft a strategy for growing the state’s defense presence, assess the strengths and weaknesses of its installations, pursue new missions, assist communities dealing with a closure or downsizing, and oversee a revolving loan fund to finance infrastructure projects linked to bases’ health, reports the Toledo Blade.
A new office would help ensure the state is always prepared for the possibility of base closures, regardless of whether a new BRAC round is scheduled, Perales said. “It’s not about that 2021 BRAC. It could happen tomorrow, and if we’re not prepared, I guarantee other states will be prepared,” he said. Perales introduced a House bill creating an office of government and military affairs within the governor’s office, but because the current session is almost over, it’s unlikely to be enacted this year.
A new statewide office would help coordinate the various local military affairs committees that already exist but don’t communicate with each other, reported the Dayton Daily News.
Air Force photo by J.M. Eddins Jr.