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About Us

About Us

Dayton Aerospace is a small, veteran-owned, management and technical services consulting firm specializing in hard-to-do tasks requiring deep acquisition, logistics and sustainment expertise. Our experts are all retired senior military officers, US Government civilians or defense industry executives who average over 30 years of experience covering all technical and management disciplines essential to weapon system acquisition and sustainment. Since 1984, we’ve provided both government and industry with a wide range of valuable, cost-effective support throughout the acquisition life cycle, including: special studies and analyses, logistics and sustainment strategy, engineering and technical problem solving, management processes and tools, and proposal strategy and development.

Dayton Aerospace Board of Directors

Dayton Aerospace is owned and managed by the firm’s board of directors.

Chris Coombs

Chris Coombs

Jim Ratti

Jim Ratti
President Emeritus

Dwyer Dennis

Dwyer Dennis
Executive Vice President

Tom Wells

Tom Wells
Vice President

David Waite

David Waite, Sr.
VP & Business Manager

Company History

The Dayton Aerospace story began in 1984. Jim Waite, a retiring US Air Force (USAF) Colonel, envisioned a future where he’d play a lot of golf, but stay engaged in the industry to which he’d devoted his career. After his final active duty assignment as director of contracts, Aeronautical Systems Center (ASC), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), he settled his family in Dayton, Ohio. He quickly realized that his contributions to the defense acquisition community didn’t have to end. He saw a need, knew he had plenty of valuable experience to offer, and was genuinely passionate about the USAF legacy of excellence in acquiring and sustaining some of the world’s premier aerospace programs. Soon, he recruited fellow retiree, contracting guru, and friend, Colonel Gene Kirchmer, USAF (Ret), and together they formed Dayton Aerospace Associates.

Working from a small rented office on Woodman Drive with their wives as secretaries, they made their first major company purchase, an IBM Selectric typewriter, and quickly found work facilitating the acquisition process from “the other side.” Industry customers were eager to hear how the process worked from the inside and Jim and Gene had plenty of insight to share; always believing that improving contractors’ knowledge of the government process would increase the likelihood of successfully executed programs down the road—a win/win for everyone.

Over the years, as customer needs and the defense acquisition process evolved, so has Dayton Aerospace. We traded in the typewriter for computers, tweaked the company name, and expanded the company’s capabilities into all functional areas.

Our unique business model has accommodated changes in administration, policy, and focus, all the while maintaining a distinctive company fabric that operates more like a fraternity than a workplace. To this day, Dayton Aerospace continues to attract the highest caliber people in the business and has sustained Jim’s legacy of making meaningful and impressive contributions to the industry.

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