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Navy's economic impact on Norfolk region jumps by $1.5 billion

The aircraft carriers USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), pre-commissioning unit aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) sit pierside at Naval Station Norfolk on May 8, 2017.

DARTEZ C. WILLIAMS/U.S. NAVY

By COURTNEY MABEUS | The Virginian-Pilot | Published: November 18, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. (Tribune News Service) — The Navy's economic impact on Hampton Roads increased by more than $1.5 billion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2016, and for the second year in a row surpassed the $10 billion mark, according to figures released Friday by Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.

The report compiles the amount of capital infused directly into the local economy from salaries, expenditures and contractual payments for services that support the region's naval bases.

The latest report shows a total direct impact of $12.3 billion. That accounts for an increase of more than 10,000 active-duty military for a total 82,174, up from 72,136 in fiscal 2015.

Much of that growth may be accounted for by the addition of the aircraft carriers George Washington — which moved to Norfolk from Japan in late 2015 — and the Gerald R. Ford, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Beth Baker said. Though the Ford joined the fleet in fiscal 2017, the Navy began accounting for its crew in March 2016, Baker said.

"As the largest employer, landowner and customer in the area, the Navy has become a part of the fabric of this community and we are very proud to call it home," region commander Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said in a statement.

The number of homeported ships in the region increased from 65 to 67.

And the report showed a slight increase in civilian employees — from 31,031 to 32,101 — and contractors, from 13,795 to 13,991. For civilian contractors, that increase shows a rebound from fiscal 2014 when there were as many as 14,050.

Military personnel and their families, a figure that includes all on active duty, reservists, retirees and family members, increased from 241,685 to 251,361.

With added personnel, the annual payroll from military and civilian workers increased to $10.1 billion, up from $8.9 billion.

Spending on goods and services — including contracts for ship construction and repair as well as other construction, maintenance, repair and transportation — increased to $2 billion, up from $1.6 billion.

©2017 The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, Va.)
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