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Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located in Greenemarker and Montgomerymarker counties, eight miles (13 km) northeast of the central business district of Daytonmarker, Ohiomarker, United Statesmarker. Part of the base is located along the city limits of Riversidemarker and is also adjacent to Fairbornmarker and Beavercreekmarker. The base is named after the Wright brothers, who used the Huffman Prairiemarker portion of what became Wright-Patterson as their testing ground, and Frank Stuart Patterson, son and nephew of the co-founders of National Cash Register, who was killed on June 19, 1918, in the crash of his Airco DH.4 at Wilbur Wright Field.

Wright-Patterson AFB is one of the largest, most diverse, and organizationally complex bases in the Air Force with a long history of flight test spanning from the Wright Brothers into the Space Age. It is also the headquarters of the Air Force Materiel Command, one of the major commands of the Air Force. "Wright-Patt" (as the base is colloquially called) is also the location of a major USAF Medical Center (hospital), the Air Force Institute of Technologymarker, and the National Museum of the United States Air Forcemarker, formerly known as the U.S. Air Force Museum.

It is also the home base of the 445th Airlift Wing of the Air Force Reserve Command, an Air Mobility Command-gained unit which flies the C-5 Galaxy heavy airlifter. Wright-Patterson is also the headquarters of the Aeronautical Systems Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory.

The entire base was a census-designated place at the 2000 census, although statistical data have since included the portion in totals for Montgomery County for the city of Riversidemarker. As of the 2000 census, the base had a resident population of 6,656. The permanent party work force at WPAFB as of September 30, 2005, numbered 5,517 military and 8,102 civilian.

Wright-Patterson is the host of the annual United States Air Force Marathon which occurs the weekend closest to the Air Force's anniversary.

Units located at Wright-Patterson AFB


Wright-Patterson AFB is located at (39.798708, -84.083988).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the U.S. Air Force base has a total area of 30.5 km² (11.8 sq mi). 30.3 km² (11.7 sq mi) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 sq mi) of it (0.76%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 6,656 people, 1,754 households, and 1,704 families residing on the base. The population density was 219.8/km² (569.2/sq mi). There are 2,096 housing units at an average density of 69.2/km² (179.2/sq mi). The racial makeup of the base was 76.11% White, 15.25% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 2.30% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 2.09% from other races, and 3.68% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.45% of the population.

There were 1,754 households out of which 78.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 89.0% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 2.8% were non-families. 2.6% of all households were made up of individuals and none had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.60 and the average family size was 3.64.

On the base the population was spread out with 42.5% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 41.5% from 25 to 44, 4.2% from 45 to 64, and 0.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 23 years. For every 100 females there were 105.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 104.1 males.

The median income for a household on the base was $43,342, and the median income for a family was $43,092. Males had a median income of $30,888 versus $21,044 for females. The per capita income for the base was $15,341. About 1.6% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.4% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

As of September 30, 2005, Wright-Patterson had base housing amounting to 2,012 single-family units, 300 units for unaccompanied enlisted personnel, and 455 visitor or temporary living units.


Wishing to recognize the contributions of the Patterson family (owners of National Cash Register) the area of Wright Fieldmarker east of Huffman Dam (including Wilbur Wright Field, Fairfield Air Depot, and the Huffman Prairiemarker) was renamed Patterson Field on July 6, 1931, in honor of Lt. Frank Stuart Patterson, who was killed in 1918 during a flight test of a new mechanism for synchronizing machine gun and propeller, when a tie rod broke during a dive from , causing the wings to separate from the aircraft.

In 1948, the nearby Wright Fieldmarker and Patterson Field were merged under the name Wright-Patterson AFB. The former Wright Field became Area B of the combined installation, and the former Patterson Field became Area C. In 1951, the Air Force created a separate command for research and development called the Air Research and Development Command. The Wright Air Development Center was responsible for principal elements of flight testing, engineering and laboratories. Some of the test pilots working at the base, such as Neil Armstrong and Ed White, went on to become NASA astronauts.

Between February 1, 1963, and September 30, 1975, the 17th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) was assigned to the base's Area A. Consisting of B-52s of the 34th Bomb Squadron and KC-135s of the 922nd Air Refueling Squadron, the wing had a nuclear deterrent mission but also supplied aircraft and aircrews for the war in Southeast Asia.

Today, as in the early 1900s, Wright-Patterson is where weapons systems are tested and modified. Missions range from logistics management, research and development, education, flight operations, and many other defense related activities. Wright-Patterson AFB is the home to the Air Force Institute of Technologymarker, an educational institution that supports the Air Force and the Department of Defense. It also contains the USAF's high-security National Air & Space Intelligence Center, where in the cold-war era captured Soviet MIGs were brought to what was then known as the Foreign Technology Division for disassembly and testing. Wright Field is also home to a zero-time nuclear reactor, built during the Cold War, but never taken critical.

Project Blue Book and Hangar 18

Wright-Patterson AFB is known among those involved with UFO conspiracy theories as the home of Project Blue Book and because of its connection with the Roswell UFO incident of July 1947. Some believe that Hangar 18, assigned to the Air Force's Foreign Technology Division at Wright-Patterson, along with the Area 51marker installation in Nevada, contains, or once contained, wreckage of a crashed UFO.

Dayton Agreement

The base is also notable for being the site of the Dayton Agreement, also known as the Dayton Accords, the peace agreement that put an end to the three and a half years of Bosnian war, one of the armed conflicts in the former Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia.


Wright-Patt is the home of AFMC-GCCS (Global Command and Control System), a system designed for crisis action planning and that supports multiple secure communication protocols.

See also


  1. Population Estimates Geographic Change Notes: Ohio, United States Census Bureau, 2006-05-19. Accessed 2007-11-15.

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