Knoxville area benefits in billions of dollars from military installations

Area military installations and activities generate an estimated $2.98 billion in economic impact each year
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 12:02 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville area’s military installations and activities generate an estimated $2.98 billion in economic impact each year, according to a study with data collected in 2019 by the East Tennessee Military Affairs Council (ETMAC), in cooperation with the Knoxville Chamber.

The ETMAC study calculated the monetary impact of the active duty, guard, and reserve components of the US Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Corps. The study takes into account the annual payroll of active duty, guard, reserve, and civilian personnel in the area. The study also looked at expenditures for construction, supplies, services, and materials, indirect jobs resulting from military personnel and military contracts given to area businesses, and other factors like retirees’ pay and veterans’ benefits.

“ETMAC completes this economic analysis to provide business and civic leaders a discernable look at the significant contribution that the military and defense programs make to the economy of East Tennessee,” said BG Geoff Freeman, US Army, retired, and President of ETMAC. “Because the military is one of the major drivers of economic activity in our area, in terms of direct and indirect jobs, supplies and services, and costs to maintain, train and operate facilities, our hope is that business and civic leaders will consider policies and actions that support and help retain this valuable resource in East Tennessee.”

The economic impact for East Tennessee measured for the year Fiscal Year 2019:

  • Veteran’s Benefits: $816,460,118 million
  • Active Duty/Guard/Reserves: $327,057,646 million
  • Dept. of Defense Contracts: $1,378,009,000 billion
  • Military Retirees: $458,373,672 million

ETMAC said that the data analysis measured activity within 50 miles of Knoxville, and the largest installations from an economic standpoint were the McGhee Tyson Tennessee Air National Guard Base and the 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, TN Army National Guard. Also, more than 9,000 military retirees living in the area.

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