HILL AIR BASE – In a year marked by intermittent travel restrictions, shutdowns of a multitude of on-facility facilities, Airmen being required to quarantine for two weeks after deployment, and more – it goes without saying that the global pandemic was felt strongly at Air Force Hill Base.
But a new report released this week shows the base’s bottom line has weathered a historically tough 2020.
This week, Hill released his 2021 Economic Impact Study. Compiled by the Basic Costs and Economics division, the report details Hill’s effect on Utah’s economy over a 12-year period. month.
According to the report, the base employs more than 5,843 active-duty and reserve Air Force personnel, more than 14,000 civilians and nearly 2,500 other government contractors. Hill’s total federal payroll was $ 1.44 billion in 2020. Almost $ 1.1 billion of total payroll went to civilian employees, with military personnel earning nearly $ 348 million.
Hill is Utah’s largest single-site employer, both in terms of employees and wages paid.
In 2020, the base spent nearly $ 590 million, including nearly $ 76 million on construction projects on the base and $ 480 million on locally produced goods and services.
The EIS estimates that the work at Hill creates an additional 22,824 indirect jobs, generating approximately $ 2.5 billion in salary and materials expenses. The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development says the biggest grassroots influence over local jobs comes from the aerospace and defense industry.
According to GOED figures, Utah’s aerospace industry already represents a significant portion of the state’s economy, representing 944 companies and 31,390 employees at the end of 2019, according to GOED figures. The sector includes jobs in design, composites manufacturing, software and control systems, testing, repair and maintenance, which support all regional and national air services as well as advanced space systems.
The industry is strengthened by several ongoing and long-term programs at Hill.
Hill was selected as the Air Force’s preferred home for the F-35 in December 2013 after a four-year environmental review process. The first two operational F-35As arrived at Hill in September 2015. The base received about one to two jets each month until it reached its full fleet of 78 at the end of last year. The squadron’s three squadrons – the 4th, 34th and 421st – each have 24 F-35As, with six other rescue planes stored at the base.
Hill’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex also maintains, modifies and repairs the fifth-generation fighter jet as the Air Force’s only depot maintenance facility for the aircraft. The ALC is working on the F-35 for all branches of service and some foreign countries that operate it.
In August 2019, Northrop Grumman inaugurated the Roy Innovation Center in Hill, which will serve as the future headquarters for Northrop’s work supporting the Department of Defense’s Strategic Ground Deterrence Program. The center will be located just south of the Hill Aerospace Museum, near the Hill-Roy border.
According to the Congressional Research Service, the new program will cost more than $ 80 billion and last 30 years. The total cost includes the acquisition of missiles, new command and control systems and large-scale renovations of the launch control centers. In a budget appropriation hearing last month as part of Utah’s 2021 legislative session, Senator Gregg Buxton, R-Roy, said the program is expected to create 4,000 jobs in the region .