Grissom increases economic impact to $134 million for FY18

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Ben Mota
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Nestled on more than 1,200 acres with more than $2 billion in real property, Grissom remains the largest employer in Miami County, and its economic impact is holding up to its size.

The 434th Air Refueling Wing recently announced that the Hoosier Wing had a total economic impact of $134.1 million for fiscal year 2018 up from $122 million in 2016.

“I see the base’s relationship with the local community as a healthy partnership,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th ARW commander. “We provide the largest economic impact, and the area provides some of the best Reserve Citizen Airmen and civilian employees in the country.”

Between military personnel and civilian pay the 434th ARW payroll  was $66 million during 2018.

“Our impact goes far beyond the wages of our employees reaching business and industries that also serve as our partners,” Shaw added.

During 2018, Grissom expended $40.5 million in equipment, supplies, contracts and minor construction, directly impacting local community job creation by more than $26.8 million.

“Anyone walking across the installation can see improvements made to the parking lots, lighting, computer systems and perimeter fencing,” said Martin Foye, 434th ARW financial services officer. “It’s clear to anyone working on or with the base that our operations tempo is the highest in over a decade and the Air Force is making sure we are equipped not just for today, but that we have the latest technological systems in place to carry us well into the future.”

While the effects of Grissom’s economic impact can be seen locally, it extends much further than just Miami County.

 “Grissom recruits and hires employees from all across the state and the nation,” added Foye. “Most relocate closer to Grissom, but some drive across multiple county lines to reach their jobs at the base.

 “Grissom Reservists come from the far reaches of Indiana each month and venture out into the surrounding communities for meals, entertainment and shopping that bring a boost to Cass, Howard and Miami counties on drill weekends,” said Foye. “Those Reservists feel welcome in these communities and think of them as a second home.”

Economic impact analyses conducted by the Air Force represent only first and second tier indicators as only salaries and direct costs of labor and construction are measured, thus resulting in conservative numbers.

In addition, the base’s economic impact differs from that of civilian employers because its finances are not driven by the same supply and demand.

“The Air Force ensures Grissom maintains its readiness and capabilities despite any economic downturns, so in-turn the base generates stability in the local community throughout the year,” said Foye. “Grissom's product is world-wide air refueling and mission ready Airmen.

“Grissom will continue to prosper because it has a culture of excellence that has been in place for decades and demonstrates daily its ability to manage and prioritize it’s funding extremely well,” said Foye. “This penchant for excellence makes Grissom a highly valuable asset to not only the local economy, but the defense of this nation as a whole.”      

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. Men and women from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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