Minot Air Force Base remains key economic driver

Imagine the local economy as it is. Then subtract $543.1 million from that and you can envision the economic landscape without Minot Air Force Base.

2nd Lt. Trevor Violette, budget officer for the 5th Comptroller Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, presented the fiscal year 2018 economic impact report at the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee meeting in the Grand Hotel, Minot, on Thursday.

Violette said the fiscal year 2018 economic impact was slightly lower than in fiscal year 2017. He said key factors were a decrease in construction projects and offsetting 23 percent increase in other procurements such as health care services and education services.

In fiscal year 2017, Minot AFB had an impact of $580.4 million. From fiscal year 2014-2018, the base’s economic impact on the local area reaches $2.8 billion.

The economic data is calculated on regulations from the Air Force and is current as of Sept. 30, 2018. It is calculated with the annual payroll of the base, annual expenditures for construction, contracts and other procurements, and the value of indirect jobs created.

Some might not recognize the impact of the base on the economy because of the distance of the base from town or because they don’t see uniformed airmen as obviously as many saw oil field workers during the Bakken boom.

Yet the facts are what the facts are and we should all ask ourselves where we would be economically without the five-year, $2.8 billion influence of the base?

Is it any wonder the Chamber of Commerce, regional political leaders and the majority of our very patriotic residents are so supportive of the base, so willing to engage in events in conjunction with the base, so respectful of base personnel?

Yes, it is how all Americans should relate with the men and women who serve their country. There is no question.

It also makes total sense for the community, economically.

On behalf of the people of Minot, MDN thanks the noble service members at Minot Air Force Base, and the tremendous good they do for our region.

We salute your service, your partnerships for the community and the contribution you make to powering our economy.