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Wing announces economic impact to community

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The 139th Airlift Wing announced its economic impact in the local community at a Chamber of Commerce meeting here on Oct. 25.

The calculation for fiscal year 2016 is $183,539,421.59

This figure includes employee salaries, benefits, education benefits, construction, operations and maintenance (O&M), military personal expenditures, fuel, and weapon system sustainment.

Construction costs came to $2,233,296.32. This includes the completion of the new security forces building, a non-motion flight simulator called the multi-mission crew trainer, and new trailers for the C-130H Weapon Instructor Course, a six month long, graduate level leadership and tactics course at Rosecrans.

O&M costs came to $16,200,465.24.

The average salary at Rosecrans is $72,939.58. This figure is based on the multitude of different pay statuses a DoD employee may be authorized including Active Guard and Reserve (AGR), military technicians who wear the uniform but are paid according to the federal government general schedule, bona fide active duty, state employees, and contractors.

The salary range at Rosecrans is from $25,536 to $133,191.

During fiscal year 2016, 122 people either enlisted or joined the wing. For the first time in 14 years, the wing reached 100% staffing of its authorized enlisted force on Sept. 1.

"Every member is a recruiter," said Chief Master Sgt. Joseph Hamlett, the superintendent of the 139th Medical Group, who has led dozens of base tours in the last two years. "It truly has been a team effort."

Within the last year, about 2000 people have visited the base, said Hamlett. Many of the tours have included high school students who are looking for career options when they graduate.

"Not only can the National Guard pay for their college, but it can provide them employment with great benefits," said Hamlett.

But he has also included business leaders, educators, and technical institutes to show what kind of skills airmen learn in the Air National Guard. Most of these skills translate directly to the civilian work force like engineering, flying, and maintenance.

From St. Joseph to as far south as Raytown, Mo., the wing has been going out into the community.

The recruiting team, along with many volunteers, set up a booth at the Kansas City Chiefs training camp at Missouri Western State University. This provided the wing exposure to approximately 2,500 - 3,000 people from all over the St. Joseph, Kansas City, and surrounding areas. The team also attended a car show in Raytown where 500 - 600 people were in attendance.