Las Vegas Sun

May 27, 2024


Air Force’s economic impact in Southern Nevada hits $5 billion

The Air Force pumped more than $5 billion into Southern Nevada's economy in fiscal year 2008, according to an annual economic impact report released this month.

Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases showed a 4 percent increase over last year, amounting to $208.6 million over the same period as fiscal year 2007, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, the report said.

Nellis, located northeast of Las Vegas, and Creech, which is northwest of Las Vegas in Indian Springs, are the second-largest employers in Clark County with nearly 13,000 active-duty military, Air National Guard Reserve and civilian employees, the report said.

The Clark County School District ranks first in employees with 38,237 and Clark County government is third with 10,435, followed by major Las Vegas Strip resorts, according to demographics available from Clark County.

The report indicates Clark County doesn't include Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases in its employment figures.

The 99th Comptroller Squadron prepared the report covering Oct. 1, 2007 through Sept. 30, 2008.

On top of a payroll of $921.8 million distributed at the two Air Force bases, construction, materials, equipment, supplies and services within Southern Nevada totaled more than $3.1 billion for the 2008 fiscal year.

The report notes that on any given day in fiscal year 2008, about 1,340 personnel were on temporary duty at Nellis or Creech, with a $224.1 million local economic impact.

More than 27,600 military retirees live in Southern Nevada, accounting for a payroll of $597.9 million.

Nellis and Creech also accounted for nearly 5,700 indirect jobs in Southern Nevada in 2008, an annual value estimated at $218.4 million.

"Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases have played important roles in Southern Nevada since the early 1940s," said Col. Dave Belote, 99th Air Base Wing commander. "While Nellis has long been the leader in advanced combat testing, tactics and training, Creech has become pivotal in the War on Terror, operating via satellite link the Predator and Reaper unmanned aircraft systems currently flown over Iraq and Afghanistan."

The economic impact on Southern Nevada from the two bases is expected to continue, Belote said.

"We're a high-tech campus on the northern edge of the Las Vegas Valley and we bring recession-proof dollars," Belote said. "Our local community is of central importance and without their support we would not be able to accomplish our mission."

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