Kershner: Change of Command Represents New Beginning at WPAFB

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The change of command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base comes at a time when connecting with the business community is vital.  Col. Patrick Miller is an accomplished leader that served as the 88th Air Base Wing and Installation Commander at Wright Patterson Air Force Base for the past two years.  He guided the base through the Covid-19 pandemic, the inauguration of a new Commander In-Chief and ever-changing department of defense protocols.

Col. Chris Meeker took over the command of the 88th Air Base Wing and the WPAFB Installation on July 7, 2022.   This change of command is a regular order of business every two years at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, however, this change of command is symbolic as it represents a time that the base needs to reconnect with the community and support our local businesses.   Because of Covid-19, Wright Patterson Air Force Base hasn’t hosted an in-person Air Force Marathon since 2019.  In 2019 the marathon hosted over 13,000 people from across the country.    Increased safety and security protocols over the past two years have restricted base access, forced civilian and enlisted to work from home and required an enormous amount of time and resources to manage.

As Col. Meeker takes command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base there is an opportunity to re-open the doors of Wright Patterson Air Force Base to the Dayton region and reconnect with business leadership.  With an annual economic impact of over $14 billion on the local economy, a key advantage for the companies and business leaders that are located in Dayton, is exclusive opportunities for access and connection to the one of the world’s best military installations, Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  This need for connection is in our DNA as a business community and it has not been missed by the new installation commander.  Col. Meeker has a passion and excitement to safely bring business leaders back to Wright Patterson Air Force Base and to make sure he is leveraging the tremendous assets at the base for the Dayton community.   The new base commander’s experience, leadership and personality has positioned him perfectly to be the catalyst for this unprecedented opportunity to reconnect the work being done on these 8,000 acres with our business community.    The Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will be work with your businesses to make sure they are well connected and have access to the world class work and opportunities this economic engine.   Get ready Dayton, WPAFB is open for business!


Chris Kershner, CAE
President & CEO
Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce

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