Mission Strong: Supporting our Southern Arizona Military Assets

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, national defense is an integral and critical component of Tucson’s economy. Recent research and a campaign to support and preserve our military presence has emerged as “Mission Strong.” Here are some excerpts from the Mission Strong website:

Mission Strong is a campaign of the Southern Arizona Defense Alliance (SADA), a broadly based group of local and regional businesses and community leaders who have come together to help support and preserve our military presence in Southern Arizona.

Economic Impact

Based on the Maguire Study, funded by Arizona Commerce Authority’s predecessor and using fiscal year 2005 data, the total Arizona economic impact our military provides is $9.1 billion and 96,328 jobs. Below is a breakdown of Southern Arizona’s contributions:

  • Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson: $1.75 billion, 19,179 jobs
  • 162nd Fighter Wing, Arizona National Guard, Tucson: $280 million, 2,947 jobs
  • Fort Huachuca, U.S. Army, Sierra Vista: $2.38 billion, 26,921 jobs
  • Yuma Marine Corps Air Station, $531 million, 7,603 jobs
  • Yuma Proving Ground, U.S. Army: $442 million, 4,226 jobs
  • Arizona National Guard Silverbell Army Heliport, Marana: $83 million, 1,102 jobs

Economic impact facts

  • Davis-Monthan Air Force Base employs 10,869 in direct jobs, has an average pay of $42,740 a year and pays $200.3 million a year in salary.
  • The 162nd Fighter Wing provides $280 million in economic impact, $108 million in payroll, and 1,702 direct jobs.
  • Davis-Monthan’s economic impact on the city of Tucson and surrounding community is $1.75 billion
  • Fort Huachuca provides $886 million in direct economic impact
  • Arizona receives about $15.3 billion in federal defense dollars annually, ranking it eighth among the 50 states. That’s 2.9% of total U.S. defense spending, which works out to $2,321 per Arizona resident.

Results of the recently-commissioned community survey have been published, showing very strong support for military installations in Southern Arizona. Some excerpts of the findings:

Nearly 92% of Southern Arizonans support our military installations

  • 75% indicated strong or very strong support
  • Support is nearly the same among those living near military bases
  • Conversely, only 8% of the community have little or no support

Southern Arizonans recognize the importance of local military installations

  • 88% agree that military installations are beneficial to local economy
  • 85% cited importance to national defense
  • 80% agreed military installations bring a sense of pride to the community
  • 69% believe the benefits of a strong military presence in their area outweigh any noise issues including those living closest to Davis-Monthan AFB/162nd Fighter Wing
  • Only 18% believe aircraft noise has an effect on their quality of life
For more information or to pledge your support for the effort, visit Mission Strong AZ’s website.
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