The Economic Impact of Missouri’s Military Installations
Here in the Show-Me State, we’re blessed to be home to several major military installations, including Whiteman Air Force Base in Knob Noster and the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence at Fort Leonard Wood. We’re also fortunate to have a Missouri National Guard force of 11,800 citizen-soldiers and airmen, some of whom belong to the 139th Airlift Wing at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph.
A recent report prepared for the Department of Economic Development’s Military Advocate’s Office details just how significant of an economic impact military spending has on our state. Between Fiscal Year 2013 and Fiscal Year 2015, the $14 billion per year in military spending resulted in an average of $32 billion per year in goods and services being purchased from Missouri companies and close to 200,000 direct and indirect jobs for Missourians.
We must also consider the impact of military spending on Missouri’s school districts and tourism industry. For example, Missouri received $27.7 million in Impact Aid from the federal government in FY15 for its school districts. The aid resulted in a total economic impact to the state of $47 million and supported more than 530 jobs, an estimated 380 of which were for teachers, administrators and school district employees. Furthermore, 75,000 people attended the 2015 “Wings over Whiteman” air show, while some 200,000 people visit Fort Leonard Wood every year for military graduations. These individuals and families stay in local hotels and eat in local restaurants, bringing in much-needed revenue to the surrounding region.
Numbers like these paint a clear picture as to why we must do everything we can as a state to support our military bases, our men and women in uniform, and our military families and communities. In doing so, we show the folks in Washington that Missouri is committed to preserving and promoting the best interests of our armed forces at all levels, and we make a great case as to why Missouri should be kept off the chopping block when it comes to future rounds of Base Realignment and Closure.
As always, please feel free to call, email, or write with your ideas or concerns. My Capitol office number is (573) 751-1415, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mailing address is Room 332, State Capitol Building, Jefferson City, MO 65101.