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.