Gentile Station is a 165 acre military base owned and operated until January 1, 1997 by the US Air Force in the City of Kettering (pop. 60,500), a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. At closure, this facility contained seven major and 70 small buildings along with 55 acres of green space. Completely located within Kettering, residential housing surrounds the base on three sides. Unlike many closed Air Force bases, Gentile Station has no runways; the site was the home of the highly successful Defense Electronics Supply Center [DESC].
The Defense Automatic Addressing System Center (DAASC) designs, develops, and implements logistics solutions that improve customers' requisition processing and logistics management processes world wide. The Defense Automatic Addressing System Center (DAASC) was born out of an extreme need by the Department of Defense (DoD) to solve their problems with routing logistics transactions. The error rate for routing requisitions for materiels to the CORRECT source of supply was around 30 percent. Since it's birth in 1965, DAASC has grown and expanded into a multifunctional supply and distribution value-added network service that processes over three billion transactions each year.
In May of 1994, the Department of Defense announced that Gentile Station would become one of 20 Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) satellite centers. We were on our way. The DFAS center provided 750 jobs and provided a new federal tenant.
Gentile Air Force Station (AFS), OH was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission in FY93. The mission of the Defense Electronics Supply Center [DESC] was relocated to the Defense Supply Centers, Columbus, OH (DSCC). As a result of the closure decision, DESC merged with the Defense Construction Supply Center in 1996 to form the Defense Supply Center Columbus. In addition to the 2,100 DESC jobs, Gentile Station was also home of the 12 other organizations with an additional 750 jobs, all of which were moved with the base closure. The Defense Contract Management Area Office Dayton was relocated to Wright Patterson Air Force Base (AFB), Dayton, OH.
On September 18, 1947, what had been previously known as the Army Air Force became the United States Air Force, a separate service. Subsequently, the former USAAF Specialized Depot in Dayton became known as the USAF Specialized Depot. The 1950s brought even more significant growth and change to this newly acquired Air Force Material Command Specialized Depot. The Command redesignated Dayton Air Force Depot as Gentile Air Force Specialized Depot, AFSD. By 1951 civilian manning rose from 1,610 to 2,168. Then, by early 1955 the staff level grew to over 3,700 and the annual budget to a hefty $45 million dollars. In 1955 reorganization under the Air Force Logistics Command resulted in a change in titles for the installation and specialized depot organization. The installation was named Gentile AFS and the organization designated Dayton Air Force Depot (DAFD). Subsequently the new Defense Supply Agency capitalized on the electrical and electronic resources that existed at Gentile AFS to establish its new Defense Electronics Supply Agency.
Based upon the EIFS model output, the 1,620 personnel relocating to the Defense Construction Supply Center, Columbus, OH, from Gentile AFS, would not create a significant socioeconomic effect in the region of influence. The population increase in Columbus, OH, would be less than 0.12 percent for that region of influence. Additionally, employment would be created in the region of influence and a slight increase in the support infrastructure within the region would occur (e.g., increases in traffic and school populations).
Instead of viewing the BRAC closing as a calamity, the City of Kettering used it to create new economic opportunities. The Local Reuse Authority (LRA) decided that the best reuse would be to turn the station into commercial and light industrial space. The master plan provides for 1.5 million square feet of space The city worked with DLA and the Air Force Base Conversion Agency to turn this vision into a reality. The Kettering Business Park is home to eight businesses and provides 1,765 jobs. The city plans to bring an additional 1,800 employees into the park.
The City of Kettering began reconstructing the property, demolishing buildings, rebuilding roads, and installing fiber-optic cable and new utility systems, while environmental restoration work was still in progress. To facilitate these efforts, DLA and the Air Force worked to ensure that the cleanup of the property was conducted as quickly and safely as possible. Cleanup of the property began in June 1997 and is expected to be complete by December 1999. The target date for having the final environmental remedy in place is August 2000. At that time, only long-term monitoring will be necessary for protection of human health and the environment.
Since the base served mostly as an office park, there was very little contamination to be remediated. The groundwork for the cleanup was laid in the 1980s, when DLA prepared a 1982 environmental historical study at DESC that involved examining archived maps and other documents. And, DLA sunk monitoring wells on the property in the late 1980s to conduct long-term monitoring and testing. In 1998 the cleanup and reuse effort at the Defense Electronics Supply Center at Gentile Air Force Station in Dayton, Ohio, was recognized, when the center was named Facility of the Year by the National Association for Installation Developers.
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