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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Report: Here’s what the midstate gains from its military installations

A long-awaited analysis of three midstate military installations spells out what the government, and local communities, gain from the military's presence here.

Among the report's findings: the three installations - the War College/Carlisle Barracks, Naval Support Activity in Hampden Township and Defense Logistics Agency Distribution Susquehanna in New Cumberland - have an annual economic impact of $1 billion and employ nearly 11,000 people.

The Cumberland York Area Local Defense Group commissioned the study in 2015, partly as a response to national talks about potential base realignments and closures (BRAC). The defense group wanted a study that could, if needed, make the case for the value of the midstate's military presence, both to the local community and the Department of Defense, and spell out steps for improving them.

The group initially hoped to have the report by February 2016, but funding issues during the 2015-2016 state budget impasse led to a one-year delay. The Cumberland County Board of Commissioners ultimately helped bridge that funding gap, said Cumberland Area Economic Development Corp. CEO Jonathan Bowser.

The commissioners contributed $50,000 to the project, while the state's Department of Community and Economic Development provided $36,000. Consulting firms Michael Baker International and Dering Consulting Group completed the report based on a year's worth of surveys, interviews, meetings and other research.

Their findings paint the three military installations as valuables assets to their communities, pointing to, among other statistics, their status as major employers; the 400 students who attend the Army War College in North Middleton Township each year; the 185,000 annual visitors to the Army Heritage & Education Center; and $24 million in spending the sites bring to local hotels and restaurants.

The installations also had the support of most of the people surveyed during the study, the report says, as well as backing from local governments, which help with roadway improvements and facility expansions.

Read the complete article here.

The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.