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Arnold AFB’s economic impact exceeds $1 billion in fiscal year 2023

Writer: Bradley Hicks  

The economic impact of Arnold Air Force Base across the state of Tennessee was $1.06 billion for the 2023 fiscal year.

Arnold AFB impacted the local areas through payroll, secondary jobs created through local spending, and other expenditures for supplies, utilities, fuel and services and the spin-off impact of those purchases.

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The base employed a mixture of active-duty military personnel from the Air Force and Navy, Department of Defense civilians and contractor personnel, which totaled 2,835 personnel in fiscal year 2023, which ran from Oct. 1, 2022, to Sept. 30, 2023. Of these personnel, 37 were active-duty military; six Air Force Reserve and National Guard; 382 appropriated fund civilian employees, which includes general schedule, federal wage board and other military branches; 55 government non-appropriated fund employees; 28 other civilians, which includes Base Exchange employees and commissary tenants; and 2,327 contractor and subcontractor employees.

Additionally, using the Tennessee Valley Authority economic impact model methodology, it is estimated that 1,956 secondary jobs were created in the local area, bringing the total jobs directly related to Arnold AFB to 4,791. Examples of these secondary jobs include those created by home construction, local supermarkets, car dealerships and department stores.

During the 2023 fiscal year, the payroll cost for Arnold AFB government and contractor personnel was $412.7 million. Direct expenditures at Arnold AFB, which include utility costs, service contracts with outside vendors and military health insurance paid to local doctors and hospitals, were $310.8 million.

The indirect spin-off impact of these direct expenditures is approximately $342.7 million.

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The economic impact data and secondary employment estimates represent the economic impact of Arnold AFB during the 2023 fiscal year.

Arnold AFB is the headquarters for Arnold Engineering Development Complex. The mission of AEDC is to test and evaluate systems to meet the demands of the National Defense Strategy.

AEDC operates the world’s largest complex of ground test facilities, with a replacement value of more than $11.9 billion.

AEDC also has operating locations at the Federal Research Center at White Oak, Maryland; Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California; Edwards Air Force Base, California; Hill Air Force Base, Utah; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico; Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado; and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

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