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Nellis AFB Contributes Billions to Local Economy | News

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Nellis AFB Contributes Billions to Local Economy
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Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases bring billions of dollars into Southern Nevada. The bases employ thousands of people making them the county's second largest employer.

According to the air force's annual Economic Impact Analysis, Nellis and Creech contributed more than $5 billion to the local economy in 2008.

Military personnel, the National Guard and civilians are all on the payroll and despite the economy, the base officials say jobs will not be cut.

For 36 years, Fran Survy has cooked food and served thousands of airmen and women at Nellis AFB and she's not even in the military.

"I move more like a 20 to 30-year-old than I do someone my age," she jokes. She says he is not ready to slow down yet and she likes her job.

"It's a good job. The airbase is a good place to work. We got good bosses out here. You can't ask for a better job," she said. In fact, Nellis and Creech employ more than 13,000. Three thousand are civilians, like Fran.

Colonel Dave Belote is the installation commander at Nellis. He says civilians are hired to do landscaping, construction and cooking.

"Last year we had $176 million in contracts to the local economy to come do things at Nellis, Creech, Tonopah and other places in Southern Nevada," said Belote adding that the dollars are recession-proof because the jobs are here to stay.

While other bases around the United States have been closed, Belote says Nellis and Creech play such a key role for the military he believes they will never close down.

"It is a significant component in national defense so these dollars are going to come here no matter what," he said.

And that is the best kind of news for Fran and other civilian employees.

"I'll be here for 100 more years, if they let me," she laughs.

Aviation Nation also contributes big to the local economy. The air show in November brought in 19,000 out of town visitors generated an estimated $18 million in economic impact to Southern Nevada.

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