WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. – The 439th Airlift Wing poured nearly $221 million into the community in fiscal year 2014, representing a decrease of $4 million over last year, and a two-year decrease of $17 million.
Military pay last year decreased $16.3 million, due in large part to a decrease in reserve funding, according to Dan McCarthy, Westover cost and management analyst. For fiscal year 2013, military pay increased $3.8 million, but overall military and civilian payroll decreased $3.3 million, due to furlough days plus a decrease in the number of assigned civilians, McCarthy said.
Fiscal year 2014 saw a net increase of $11.5 million in construction and related expenditures. A $24 million fuel hydrant system project began on the flight line in 2013, with the cost pro-rated over a three-year construction period.
In 2013, there were net decreases of $10.1 million in construction and $3.4 million in the estimated value of jobs created.
The wing impacted communities within a 50-mile radius with an economic impact of $220,856,889 from Oct. 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014.
During the previous year, the base’s economic impact was $224,946,752.
In 2012, the impact was $237,936,751. In 2011, the impact was $237,568,913, and in 2010, that figure was $266,631,634.
The number of base employees decreased from 3,813 in 2013 to 3,613 in 2014. In 2012, Westover employed 3,902 people. This number includes 2,319 Air Force reservists, down from 2,455 last year. There are 712 federal employees now (718 last year) and 287 non-appropriated fund and contract employees (298 last year).
The annual payroll for the base during fiscal year 2014 totaled $125.9 million. In 2013, that number was $139.7 million.
The estimated value of indirect jobs created – a federal formula that calculates goods and services off base which members purchase – amounted to $46.8 million in 2014 ($48.7 million last year).
The economic figures and personnel counts do not include the base’s 29 tenant units, which include ten Army units, and three Marine units, which together employ approximately 2,160 people, mainly reservists.
“As a major employer, Westover’s success is linked to Western Massachusetts’ success. We’ve had to tighten our belts economically, along with the rest of the Air Force, but we’re glad to continue to support the economies of communities near the base significantly,” said Col. Albert Lupenski, 439th Airlift Wing commander.