Report Says CAFB has had $260+ Million Impact on Local Area
COLUMBUS – The Dispatch
14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. Douglas Gosney recently announced the findings of a report on CAFB’s economic impact on the area to the Base Community Council, showing an increase of over $11 million as compared to last year. Much of the increase came in the form of salaries issued to new civil service workers filling vacant positions on-base, and to raises for airmen who had increased in rank over the past year. Other sources included things such as new construction, street maintenance and repair, vehicle maintenance, and jobs created in the local area which are auxiliary to the base’s needs.
Col. Douglas Gosney, CAFB (photo credit: The Dispatch)
“These are jobs that come into the community as a result of the increased population of Columbus Air Force Base and our airmen living in and around the area,” Gosney said. “You need extra teachers, you need extra doctors, you need extra restaurant staff, just from the increased population.”
He went on to stress the importance of maintaining positive relationships with the people of our area: “As proud as we are of the economic boost that this base brings to the community, we’re really more proud of the relationships and the support that we show for each other,” he said. “Neither of us could be as good at what we do without the support from the other . . . [I]t’s nice that we bring a lot of money to the area, but we’re really just proud that of those relationships. We’re proud to be part of this community. We’re proud that you welcome us into your homes, your schools and your churches and we can’t thank you enough for that.”
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The CVB, Columbus Air Force Base, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city are proud to present their annual Fireworks on the Water program on Friday, July 1 from 5-10 PM on the East bank of the Stennis Lock & Dam (the fireworks will be visible from the West side, as well). Come on out to enjoy the celebration, food, live entertainment, kids’ activities, and stay for the brilliant light show in the sky!
Courtesy of the Dispatch —
CVB XD Nancy Carpenter
Events like this help people of all ages and backgrounds to come together and just have fun as a community. “It’s not just a community event,” CVB Executive Director Nancy Carpenter said. “It’s one that the entire region comes out to enjoy.”
The event will feature jumpers, face painting and other activities for children, along with glow sticks for purchase. The fireworks display should start about 9 p.m.
Carpenter said CVB is asking that people don’t bring their own coolers or pets.
“The initial reason behind it was the Visit Columbus Board of Directors wanted to do something special for the men and women at Columbus Air Force Base,” she said. “There’s no better time than our Independence Day to do that. This is a way we can say thank you by doing something special for them and their families.”
14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. John Nichols speaks during the Base Community Council’s first meeting Thursday. Nichols reported that the base’s economic impact for 2015 was approximately $249 million. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
$250 Billion — Economic Impact of CAFB on Local Area
The USAF’s air base here in Columbus employs a good 2,800 servicemen, servicewomen, and civilians, all of whom live here, eat here, shop here, and party here. All of that means money coming into the city to keep it thriving. And that’s Good for Business!
Courtesy of The Dispatch
14th Flying Training Wing Commander Col. John Nichols addressed the CAFB’s Columbus Club recently, speaking of the base’s performance in the last year or so. As part of this, he said that the base brought $249.6 million into the local economy, up from about $241 million the prior year. Most of that money is in the form of payroll dollars to the 2,800 USAF personnel and civilian employees on-base, who then proceed to spend much of their money locally:
“That paycheck supports their families,” Nichols said. “They buy cars here in Columbus. They go out to eat. They spend money. That money is infused right back into the local economy, so it makes a big difference.”
He went on to say that indirect local job creation added another $32 million to that number:”So if Buffalo Wild Wings has to add another server because so many airmen are down there, that’s the indirect job effect,” he said.Nichols will complete his current two-year Tour of Duty in July, at which time he will return to Barksdale AFB in Shreveport. He expressed his sentiment about the reassignment: “It’s going to be tough to leave,” Nichols said. “We’ve met so many great people.”
He also stated that Chief Master Sgt. Rita Felton, the base’s Command Chief Master, is leaving in October. “It means there’s going to be a lot of change, but what I can assure you of is this place won’t miss a beat,” Nichols said. “It will be like nothing happened. I promise. That’s how we do things in the military.”
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