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Air Force completes transfer of former Rickenbacker ANGB to local airport authority

Columbus Regional Airports Authority Board of Directors Chairwoman Kathleen H. Ransier (left) and Air Force Real Property Agency Director Katie Halvorson (center) watch as CRAA President and Chief Executive Officer Elaine Roberts signs the deed for the final parcel of property at the former Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio June 26. (Photo courtesy of the Columbus Regional Airports Authority)

Columbus Regional Airports Authority Board of Directors Chairwoman Kathleen H. Ransier (left) and Air Force Real Property Agency Director Katie Halvorson (center) watch as CRAA President and Chief Executive Officer Elaine Roberts signs the deed for the final parcel of property at the former Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio June 26. (Photo courtesy of the Columbus Regional Airports Authority)

WASHINGTON --

With a friendly handshake and sincere smile the director of the Air Force Real Property Agency presented the deed for last parcel of the former Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio to its local redevelopment authority June 26. The handover marks a significant milestone in the Air Force's effort to transfer former Air Force property to local communities for redevelopment.

AFRPA Director Katie Halvorson signed and presented the deed for the final 3.5-acre parcel during a meeting of the Columbus Regional Airports Authority. In doing so, Ms. Halvorson completed the transfer of all excess real property at the former installation.

"I'm pleased to celebrate this full-base transfer that represents a 'win-win' for the community and the Air Force," Ms. Halvorson said. "It shows our commitment to putting former Air Force assets in the hands of the airport authority so they can redevelop and capitalize on the property."

At the board meeting, CRAA President and Chief Executive Officer Elaine Roberts presented Ms. Halvorson with a framed copy of a resolution accepting the final parcel from the Air Force. The resolution praises the Air Force's property transfer and environmental cleanup efforts supporting the redevelopment of the former base.

"The Columbus Regional Airport Authority is very appreciative of the relationship we have enjoyed with the Air Force Real Property Agency at Rickenbacker," said Ms. Roberts. "The surplus property transfer program has been a tremendous success and will continue to be as former military property is redeveloped and new jobs are created for Central Ohio."

Rickenbacker Air Force Base, named after Columbus, Ohio native and World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, was originally closed in 1980 and designated Rickenbacker ANGB when the Ohio Air National Guard took control. The Rickenbacker Port Authority, activated in 1980, took an active role in the redevelopment of the base into an international airport. When Rickenbacker ANGB closed in Sept. 1994 as a result of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission decision, the local redevelopment authority continued to support the redevelopment of the base attracting a variety of businesses.

AFRPA has had an active role in property disposal at the former ANG base. The Agency is also responsible for the cleanup of environmental contamination resulting from the Air Force's operations at Rickenbacker. The cleanup program, which began in the 1980s, is nearly finished with five sites remaining to be closed.

"Our cleanup progress is steady and supports the redevelopment of the base and most importantly, protects human health and the environment," said Peter Forbes, BRAC environmental coordinator for the former Rickenbacker ANGB.

Even though it is no longer an active Air Force base, Rickenbacker International Airport still hosts units from the Ohio ANG, who operate an aerial refueling wing and a weather flight. Other military units including Army, Navy and Marine Corps reserve units are also supported at Rickenbacker.

"Rickenbacker has a rich Air Force legacy and I am proud that it will continue here at the airport," said Ms. Halvorson.