Grissom makes positive economic impact

  • Published
  • By Douglas Hays
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Grissom has been part of the Miami County community for nearly 78 years, and it continues to make a positive impact on the area.

For fiscal year 2019, Grissom’s overall economic impact was nearly $124 million.

“While we are the largest employer in Miami County, our impact isn’t based on financial numbers alone,” said Col. Larry Shaw, 434th Air Refueling Wing commander. “Our relationship with the community is something in which we have a vested interest.”

Grissom’s fire department routinely makes runs to the surrounding area through mutual aid agreements.

“We strive to be good neighbors,” Shaw said. “If we have personnel, training and equipment that can make a positive impact and save lives, we’ll always try to respond if called upon.”

In 2019 Grissom’s fire department answered that call nearly 250 times for accidents, fires, and medical emergencies to areas surrounding the base.

It wasn’t only emergencies that help the base bond with the community. The Grissom Air & Space Expo also brought tourism dollars to the area, and was not part of the economic impact calculations.

An estimated 60,000+ came to the base for the two-day event.

“We don’t make money on an event like that,” Shaw said, “but that doesn’t mean the community didn’t.”

Grissom sits on just more than 1,200 acres and has approximately $2 billion in real property.

During each month, approximately 2,000 military members and civilians perform duty at the base and earn roughly $95.2 million in wages.

While Grissom has a full-time support team, not everyone working at the base lives locally.

In 2019, the Hoosier Wing had members that lived in 31 different states and did their training at Grissom.

Often those members will visit restaurants and entertainment establishments after hours which feeds directly into the local economies as well.

“We’re limited on how we can track money for economic analysis purposes,” Shaw said.

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.

“We think Grissom will continue to prosper and be an economic boost to the area for years to come,” Shaw said. “We value our role, and are proud to be a member of this community.”

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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