Gov. expresses strong support for Hill Air Force Base

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Gov. Herbert expressed his strong support for Hill Air Force Base (HAFB) as a driving force in the Utah economy this afternoon at a meeting with the Industrial Association (IA), a consortium of aerospace and local businesses that do business with Hill Air Force Base.

Just look at the economic numbers tied to HAFB. It employs more than 20,000 personnel and has a yearly federal payroll of nearly $1.2 billion. It has a total economic impact is $3 billion per year. And in 2013, more than 105 aerospace and defense-related companies employed more than 20,000 Utahns.

The governor emphasized the importance of HAFB to our defense and aerospace industries, highlighting just a few of the things we are doing to ensure they remain viable:

  • Last November, our Department of Veteran Affairs was renamed the Department of Veteran and Military Affairs. And its director, now Gary Harter, was made a cabinet-level position. We also hired Ted Frederick, as the Department’s Director of Military Affairs. These changes reflect the Department’s wider mission and responsibilities — not only to our veterans, but also to our military installations and related private businesses.
  • We are now engaging organizations and decision-makers on a much wider level — the Association of Defense Communities, Southwest Defense Alliance, Utah Defense Alliance, among others —  to ensure Hill and the local community get the resources and recognition they deserve.
  • We further partner and help fund the Utah Defense Alliance, the sole purpose of which is to strengthen and support Hill.
  • The Utah Legislature also created the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA), which has worked with the Air Force on such developments as the Falcon Hill, the enhanced-use lease project at Hill.
  • In June, the State helped support the “Wasatch Open House and Air Show,” which drew an estimated 550,000 visitors and generated roughly $30 in economic impact to Layton and surrounding communities.
  • We are also raising the bar on Science Technology Engineering and Math  — or STEM —  education in Utah, to ensure we have the best trained workforce to fill all the jobs being created by the military and defense and aerospace industry.

As vital as Hill is to Utah’s economy, it is even more important to America and our national security. You don’t need to look far to see the dangers in this world are growing darker and more aggressive. It is as important today as it has ever been that our nation is capable of defending itself and our allies around the globe.

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