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Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Winkler tell Governor Mike DeWine about the C130H they are standing in during a tour of the 179th campus, Friday afternoon.

MANSFIELD -- Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Joesph Zeis as his adviser for aerospace and defense while visiting the 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield on Friday.

The announcement, he said, fulfills a campaign promise for a focus on military installations in Ohio.

"He is someone who has the background in the military to understand what is going on," DeWine said. "There are so many different military installations in Ohio. They are all really important to a national defense, but also to our economy in Ohio."

Zeis will work out of the governor's office and focus on daily operations of the state's military operations.

DeWine was joined by local politicians and state leaders while taking a tour of the 179th.

"What impressed me most was the people," DeWine said. "Airmen who are here, their enthusiasm, and abilities. That's what it's all about. It's the people. Mansfield has always been special and it's special because of the people."

Zeis echoed that sentiment.

"It's always the people. You see the troops and how motivated they are to do the mission to go out and serve not only the country but the state," the new cabinet member said. "That is most impressive."

Col. Allison Miller, the 179th Airlift Wing commander, said Friday marked the first time a governor has visited the base.

"It's such an honor to know we have the support at the highest level in the state," she said. "To not only want to support us in Columbus, but to come see us in person and learn about our missions and our folks, it's great."

Miller said having the support from DeWine and Zeis helps merge civilian life with military life.

"That new cabinet position is important because he's going to be a liaison between the two," she said. "To have someone in that position who is former military and understands the language that we speak and understands resources we need and can translate that to the governor, it's a huge asset for the state of Ohio."

Staff Reporter

Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.

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