Wright Patterson AFBRelocation Guide

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How to Relocate to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base: A Guide

Hello and welcome to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base! Just east of Dayton, Ohio (the Birthplace of Aviation) our post is an extremely important one for American military aviation that sits right at the edge of one of our nation’s most historic and rapidly-growing midwestern cities. Home of Air Force Materiel Command’s 88th Air Base Wing (ABW), Wright-Patterson (or “Wright-Patt” for short) is the biggest employer in the entire state of Ohio. When you and your military family relocate here, you’re joining an installation that has been a continuous source of military, scientific, and economic development for over a century.

History of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Our base traces its history all the way back to 1904 when Wilbur and Orville Wright, having already succeeded in achieving heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, began developing and testing new designs on the Huffman Prairie Flying Field (the site of the current base’s Runway 23). During World War One, the Army Air Service bought or rented much of the land in the area to serve as Wilbur Wright Field, a major training center for pilots, mechanics, and ground crews. The base was briefly deactivated after the war, but formally reopened in 1927. A portion of it was dedicated Patterson Field in honor of one of the Army’s first test pilots, Lieutenant Frank Patterson, who died in a crash there in 1918.

During World War Two, the base expanded as both a training center and a repository/laboratory for the study of advanced German aircraft and ordnance captured in Europe. In 1944 it became the home of the 4000th Army Air Forces Base Unit, the precursor to today’s 44th ABW. The base was renamed to its current designation in 1948, after the Air Force became its own branch of the military, when Wright and Patterson fields were officially merged. After that, the base underwent a massive expansion and continuous modernization throughout the Cold War and following decades. Wright-Patt also served as the location of the negotiations that resulted in the 1995 Dayton Agreement ending the Bosnian War.

Life at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base Today

Today, our air base houses not only the 44th ABW, but the headquarters for all of Air Force Materiel Command. It’s also home to the Air Force’s Life Cycle Management Center, Research Laboratory, Institute of Technology, the branch’s National Museum, and the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. When you and your military family relocate here, you’ll join the proud community of over 27,000 military and civilian personnel who belong to and support these vital units and institutions in the very Birthplace of Aviation.