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Economic Impact Report

The Defense and Aerospace Industries play a significant role in Alabama’s economy. While there is overlap between Defense and Aerospace, this report analyzes the two sectors independently. Availability of complete data and a ‘normal’ year made 2019 the year to serve as a representative year for the impact that the defense industry has on the state of Alabama.

The Military Stability Foundation and Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth, Chairman of the Alabama Job Creation and Military Stability Commission, commissioned UAH to perform this economic impact study of the Aerospace and Defense industry on the State of Alabama.  

The defense and aerospace industries play a significant role in Alabama’s economy. The presence of the US Army and Air Force installations within the state are major contributors to Alabama’s defense and aerospace industries.

There are five active installations located in the state:

Anniston Army Depot and Fort McClellan Training Center

Fort Rucker Army Base (Now renamed Novosel)

Maxwell Air Force Base and Gunter Annex

Redstone Arsenal Aviation Training Center

Fort Benning*, an Army installation in Georgia, which borders with Alabama, has a significant impact on Alabama

In addition, other defense and security related agencies are located throughout the state that support these installations.

Determining the economic impact of the defense and aerospace industries, and its contribution to the overall success of Alabama’s economy, is the focus of this research study. Table 1 presents a comprehensive summary of the total impacts of all the regions. The table displays the total economic impact in terms of employment, payroll and output for all the regions, as well as the aerospace industry. For instance, the total employment impact in the Anniston Region is 13,102. The total payroll impact is $1 billion and the total economic impact on output is $2.1 billion.