Spangdahlem's economic impact to the Eifel
By Lt. Col. Dwayne Lahaye, 52nd Comptroller Squadron Commander
/ Published October 05, 2009
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --
As many economies worldwide continue to weather a tough recession and cope with the challenges of unemployment, Spangdahlem Air Base continues to positively impact the Eifel region's economy.
This economic effect is founded on the sheer number of people tied to the base. The 52nd Fighter Wing is the home to more than 14,000 personnel who work and live on or within the vicinity of Spangdahlem Air Base, and consists of U.S. military members, family members, and both U.S. and German civilian employees. Based on the collective spending of all Sabers, plus the operational costs to run the air base, a total of $423 million dollars flowed into the local community in 2008.
Everyone assigned to Spangdahlem, especially those residing off base, pays a large portion of their income toward housing as they pay for rent and utilities to local landlords. And much of Americans' flexible spending money circulates within the Eifel as individuals eat at local restaurants, see local attractions, visit entertainment establishments and purchase the necessities of daily life. All together, this type of spending equated to about $208 million.
Additionally, the day-to-day operation of Spangdahlem is comparable to running a small city, and base units and organizations spend more than $132 million each year for off-base services, material, equipment and construction-related projects. The base will routinely purchase essential items to support its mission including heating oil, office furniture, computer products, vehicle parts and building supplies.
In terms of jobs, Spangdahlem is the second largest employer of Germans in the area - Bitburg Brewery is the largest. The base's civilian workforce consists of approximately 860 German national employees and 990 U.S. civilian employees. Add in the 4,186 military members working at Spangdahlem, and the total payroll translates to more than $160 million. This large volume of spending creates a secondary benefit to the Eifel as local businesses hire additional German employees to meet the needs of Spangdahlem - thus creating another 2,276 indirect jobs valued at $83 million to help support the base and its mission.
While many parts of the world are recovering due to the global economic downturn, commerce and a strong relationship between Spangdahlem and the Eifel region continues to thrive.