BILOXI — Keesler Air Force Base’s total economic impact for fiscal year 2009 has been calculated at more than $1.1 billion. The figure was finalized as base officials completed the annual process of data assimilation and validation.
“We’re proud that Keesler continues to have a significant positive impact on the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s economy,” said Brig. Gen. Ian Dickinson, commander, 81st Training Wing. “The partnership between the base and the local community is very strong.”
In addition to employee payroll figures and construction and purchases ($650 million), the total economic impact includes military retiree pay and the value of volunteer services as well as jobs indirectly created on the Gulf Coast.
Keesler currently employs 14,629 people, including nearly 7,300 military positions. In addition, the base’s presence created more than 3,700 local and contract jobs.
In addition, 41,550 hours were volunteered by Keesler members in fiscal year 2009 to coast community projects and organizations, including the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. Each year, Keesler also hosts the Mississippi State Special Olympics Summer Games, accommodating more than 800 athletes and coaches from across the state. Thousands of Keesler volunteers serve the games in every capacity from team partners to timekeepers.
“We understand the importance of building strong community relationships in achieving our mission.” said Dickinson. “The Mississippi Gulf Coast is a great place to be and the men and women of Keesler Air Force Base are proud to be part of this community.”