The Special Legislative Commission on Defense Economy Planning will be holding a special meeting on May 11 at 1 p.m. at the Quonset Air National Guard base to introduce the results of the RI National Guard’s economic impact study in conjunction with the National Guard Civic Leader Program.

The National Guard Civic Leader Program creates partnerships, inspires collaboration and educates influential civic leaders who act as advocates for the Guard.  The goal of the program specific to the Rhode Island National Guard is to ensure there is a consistent understanding of organizational objectives and their positive impact on all Rhode Island communities.

“The Defense Economy Planning Commission will be visiting the Rhode Island Air National Guard in hopes of getting a better appreciation of one of Rhode Island’s most critical defense and economic assets,” said Commission Co-Chairman Sen. Louis P. DiPalma (D-Dist. 12, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton, Tiverton). “It is important that the state continues to support the Guard and its often overlooked economic impact to the state.  For instance, in supporting 4,791 full and part-time jobs, the Guard contributes $163.1 million in labor income for Rhode Island households and Dr. Tebaldi’s study shows that for each dollar the state spends to support the Guard, $2.70 is generated in tax revenues for the state and $2 for our municipalities.  The Guard is a tremendous asset to our state’s security and economy and we must continue to support it and the positive impact it has on our state.”

“Rhode Island’s National Guard is made up of men and women who have deployed in recent conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and to fight ISIS in the Middle East.  Through their work at this installation in Quonset, the Pentagon recognizes the critical role Rhode Island plays in the defense of our nation,” said Co-Chairwoman Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown).  “The purpose of this tour is to give legislators and members of this commission a better understanding of what this facility does, as well as the listen to the men and women of the Rhode Island Air National Guard who operate there.”

The commission meeting will also have presentations by Dr. Edinaldo Tebaldi concerning the National Guard Economic Analysis and its contributions to Rhode Island, Scott DePasquale, Chairman and CEO of Utilidata, presenting an update on the Governor’s Cybersecurity Task Force, and Molly Donohue Magee, Executive Director of SENEDIA, talking about Base Realignment and Closure and the Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Initiative.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.