Print Friendly and PDF

Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission

The Regional Chamber launched the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission (EOMAC) in 2015 to preserve and promote the value of military operations between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, with an emphasis on the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield Joint Military Training Center, formerly known as Camp Ravenna Joint Training Center.

These unique regional military assets in the region include the USAF Reserve 910th Airlift Wing, which is the only aerial spray capability in the military. Furthermore, the 21,000-acre Camp James A. Garfield site has transformed in recent years from a World War II munitions to an advanced training site for thousands of troops in the Ohio National Guard.

EOMAC is a proud member of the Association of Defense Communities and part of the Ohio military commission network, with peers around the state, including Task Force Lima, Toledo Military Affairs Commission, Ohio National Guard Association and Dayton Development Coalition.

Military Members at YARS

EOMAC Team/Partners

The commission is led by Attorney Vito Abruzzino. Outside of this role, Atty. Abruzzino is a Major in the United States Army Reserve and has served with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Fort Bragg, N.C. Abruzzino is a graduate of the West Virginia University College of Law and has also acted as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in Columbia, S.C.

EOMAC is proudly supported by generous contributions from the Western Reserve Port Authority, Trumbull 100, Regional Chamber and Trumbull County Community Foundation.

Accomplishments/Updates

  • Ohio Support: EOMAC is working with the Ohio Federal Research Network and state leaders to continue to grow opportunities to build national defense capacity at regional installations and to evaluate the potential for university and military research partnerships.
  • Military Value: The Reserve and Guard throughout the region continue to protect the nation by the most efficient and effective means. Data demonstrates that these installations offer major contributions to defense, all while keeping federal expenditures at a minimum. Keeping facilities and materials upgraded for optimal performance is a key to continuing this trend in excellence.
  • Community Partnership: Citizen soldiers contribute to our installations and communities. EOMAC is proud to grow these contributions through the USAF Community Partnership Program, in which 910th Air Reservists are receiving training credits to address local safety, education and emergency issues with stakeholders throughout the region.

Recent News

Dignan Appointed to BRAC & Military Affairs Task Force

Sep 13, 2017
Regional Chamber COO James Dignan was appointed last week to the newly created Ohio House BRAC & Military Affairs Task Force (BMATF), which will study and analyze current Ohio Department of Defense and NASA assets, resources and missions in anticipation of potential Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions and other major mission realignment opportunities.

James Dignan 1Regional Chamber COO James Dignan was appointed last week to the newly created Ohio House BRAC & Military Affairs Task Force (BMATF), which will study and analyze current Ohio Department of Defense and NASA assets, resources and missions in anticipation of potential Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) actions and other major mission realignment opportunities.

BMATF members will also visit in the next couple of months  several military and NASA installations across the state—including the Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS)—to garner input about their missions, capabilities, contributions and future opportunities, as well as their economic impact to surrounding communities and concerns regarding a future BRAC.

Dignan, who was recommended for the task force by U.S. Senator Rob Portman and U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, said, “It is an honor to be nominated to represent our region on Ohio’s BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force. I look forward to working with this incredible team, assembled to develop recommendations for the State of Ohio and our local defense communities on how to best position the state to acquire new missions and retain our current missions.”

Members of BMATF will present their strategic recommendations by the end of the first quarter of 2018 to the Speaker of the House, Ohio General Assembly, Governor Kasich, Ohio Congressional Delegation and local defense communities.

Having served in the military for nearly 30 years, Dignan was commander of the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station from March 2013 to October 2016. He oversaw 16 units with more than 1,300 personnel; led operations and maintenance, providing support for nearly 2,000 assigned Air Force, Navy and Marine Reservists; and was the civilian leader for more than 400 Air Reserve Technician and civil service employees. He was also instrumental in the creation of the Regional Chamber’s Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, launched in 2015 to highlight the military value of YARS and other installations throughout Eastern Ohio.

Other members of the task force include: Ohio Representatives Rick Perales (Chair), Dave Greenspan, Bob Cupp, Laura Lanese and Hearcel Craig; Brig. General Richard Green, National Guard Association; Col. Cassie Barlow, Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education; Maj. General Paul Sullivan, Old Sullivan, LLC; Steve Tugend, Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter; Mike Wiehe, Wright State University; and Wendy Gramza, Toledo Chamber.