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Robins Air Force Base pumped $3.15 billion into the Georgia economy in fiscal 2018

Robins commander talks about economic impact of base

Col. Lyle Drew, 78th Air Base Wing commander, speaks to local media at the Museum of Aviation Thursday about the economic impact and what’s on the horizon for Robins Air Force Base.
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Col. Lyle Drew, 78th Air Base Wing commander, speaks to local media at the Museum of Aviation Thursday about the economic impact and what’s on the horizon for Robins Air Force Base.

Robins Air Force Base pumped $3.15 billion into the Georgia economy for fiscal 2018, up 9.6 percent from the previous year.

That’s an increase of $276 million over the 2017 fiscal year, Col. Lyle Drew, 78th Air Base Wing commander, told media representatives Thursday.

“That is a huge increase as you think about just only 12 months of impact ... that has not only to the base but certainly to the community,“ Drew said.

Drew’s remarks came ahead of the official release of the 2018 economic impact statement. The annual statement covers the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

“When we take a look at the population of the base, those that come every day from those 78 counties around Middle Georgia, we’ve increased the population (by) about 1,000,” Drew said.

The fiscal 2017 statement reported Robins’ workforce at 22,257.

Last summer, the base announced plans to hire 1,200 people at its Air Logistics Complex by the end of 2019.

“That campaign is going exceptionally well with over 800 employees hired right now and another 250 in the system getting ready to be hired,” Drew said. “We will definitely achieve that goal.”

Drew was joined at the press briefing by Col. Katrina Stephens, the 78th Air Base Wing vice commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Gary Hart, the 78th Air Base Wing command chief.

Here are some highlights:

Robins was the Air Force Materiel Command nominee to the Air Force for the Installation Excellence Award. “What that means is out of the eight distinct bases within Air Force Materiel Command for 2018, Robins Air Force Base was the No. 1 base based on a whole host of activities of what we do in contributing to providing combat power around the world,” Drew said.

The Air Logistics Complex, which is the base’s largest employer of 8,000 military and civilian employees, was recognized as the No. 1 of three air logistics centers in the Air Force. This has happened three out of the last four years, Drew said.

The Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center, or VECTR, now has eight active duty members transitioning to civilian life receiving free training at the center and housed at Robins, Hart said. Next month, that number is expected to grow by 20.

For the first time, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor Demo Team will join the Thunder Over Georgia Air Show on base Sept. 28-29, Stephens said. The team joins the Air Force Thunderbirds for the show.

Becky Purser covers breaking and Houston County news. She previously covered crime and courts for Houston and Peach counties for The Telegraph. A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a bachelor’s degree in communications/news-editorial sequence, Becky also has covered city and county government for Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia newspapers.
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