WPAFB makes nation’s air force uniforms

Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Photo/WDTN Staff)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The uniforms worn by our nation’s heroes are made in the Miami Valley.

Only 2 NEWS got an inside look at the uniform office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base where 19 employees make uniforms for the entire country’s air force personnel.

“We are a hidden little gem. The airmen do not know we exist,” said Tracy Roan, a clothing designer on base.

Each uniform is made to fit all shapes and sizes.

“From boots to the top. Gloves. Head wear. Every service dress as well as their battle wear,” explained Roan.

Which, sometimes can be a challenge.

“We have one design that has to fit multiple body types. So, we have to look into what goes into the garments,” said Yvonne Wilson, the senior designer at the uniform office.

The uniform center has been a part of the base since 1947. Wilson knows her job goes beyond the stitching. A culture of safety and patriotism is woven into the fabric of the United States Air Force.

“Uniforms play a critical role in the readiness of our airmen. Our goal is to provide them with the uniforms that allow them to be successful in their missions,” said Roan.

For Tracy and Yvonne every day brings a new task as they constantly look for ways to improve the uniforms. One of their biggest challenges is supplies. Every textile they use has to be manufactured in the United States. A hard feat when many items are made overseas.

“We have a shrinking supply base. It sometimes can be limited and thus challenging. So, we have to really team up with industry to push them to develop,” said Roan.

For all of the challenges, there is one priceless reward they get to see every day.

“It is a really good feeling. We get to see our users wearing our product every day, but it’s especially gratifying that we supply uniforms to the worlds greatest air force,” said Roan.

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