F-35A Standup

F-35As shown at Hill Air Force Base Jan. 6, 2020.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Hill Air Force Base injected nearly $3.7 billion into Utah’s economy in 2019, according to a new report.

Earlier this week, the base released its 2019 Economic Impact Statement, a report that details the installation’s fiscal impression on Utah’s economy.

According to the report, the base employs more than 5,700 active-duty and reserve Air Force personnel, more than 16,600 civilians and another 2,900 government contractors. Hill’s total federal payroll was $1.43 billion in 2019. About $1.1 billion of that went to civilian employees, with military personnel earning nearly $315 million.

Hill is Utah’s largest single-site employer, in both total employees and salary paid out.

In 2019, Hill spent more than $811 million, which included almost $69 million for construction projects on base, $703 million in service contracts and $38.6 million to procure materials, equipment and supplies.

The EIS says work done at Hill creates an additional 30,000 indirect jobs worth $1.5 billion. The Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development said the base’s biggest influence on jobs happens in the aerospace and defense industry, as the base relies on Utah companies to perform work in avionics, propulsion systems, advanced composites and software, aircraft and missile maintenance.

The base’s payroll, expenditures and indirect jobs created account for $3.7 billion, the report says.

A pair of important Department of Defense programs currently operating at Hill figure to keep the base’s economic future sound.

In August 2019, Northrop Grumman broke ground on the Roy Innovation Center at Hill, which will serve as future headquarters for Northrop’s work supporting the DoD’s Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program. The center will be located just south of the Hill Aerospace Museum, near Hill’s border with Roy.

According to the Congressional Research Service, the new program will cost more than $80 billion and run for 30 years. The total cost includes the acquisition of missiles, new command and control systems and large-scale renovations of launch control centers. Hill officials and members of Utah’s Congressional Delegation have said the program will bring as many as 2,500 jobs to the area.

In December 2019, the 388th Fighter Wing received an F-35A Lightning II from defense contractor Lockheed Martin — a jet that marked the final F-35 delivery at Hill and brings the total number of aircraft on base to 78.

The first two operational F-35s arrived at Hill in September 2015. Since then, the base has received approximately one to two jets every month. During that time, the two fighter wings have flown more than 17,500 sorties and more than 33,000 flying hours.

The wing’s three squadrons — the 4th, 34th and 421st — each have 24 F-35As, with another six back-up aircraft stored at the base.

According to 388th FW spokesman Micah Garbarino, the F-35 mission at Hill added more than 400 personnel and generates an estimated $47 million to the Northern Utah economy every year.

The EIS report is completed by cost analysts on base and uses identifiable spending numbers associated with Hill. The report is provided to federal, state and local officials and can be viewed at www.hill.af.mil.

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