Dan Cohen AUTHOR The success of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base would not be possible without the contribution of the defense industry — including the small business community — and academic partners in western Ohio, AFRL Commander Maj. Gen. Tom Masiello said at the Dayton Development Coalition’s annual meeting earlier this week.“I don’t know if it’s in the water here, but there’s something special that you have here,” Masiello told attendees.AFRL outsources about 75 percent of its annual $4 billion budget to industry, universities and global allies, reported the Dayton Daily News. About half of AFRL’s 10,000 workers and five of its technology directorates are housed at the base located outside of Dayton.“Your DNA is all about innovation, which really helps our mission,” Masiello said.Of course, the link between the lab and its industry partners is not just a one-way street; the Dayton region has benefitted tremendously from the work at Wright-Patterson.AFRL and its partners generated $569 million in new capital investment last year in a 12-county region in western Ohio, according to the Dayton Development Coalition. That investment created 3,136 jobs and retained 11,131 existing jobs. New payroll reached $139 million.Coalition President and CEO Jeff Hoagland, meanwhile, warned the audience that the Dayton community shouldn’t get complacent about the oversized role Wright-Patterson plays in the region, according to the story.“Please do not forget the word BRAC,” he said. “I know people do not like that word. But it’s the truth,” said Hoagland, who predicted a new round would go ahead at some point.