Nearly 6,200 active duty military and civilians are the human power behind the $448 million annual economic engine that is Fairchild Air Force Base. Located in western Spokane County, the impact of Fairchild AFB extends far beyond the boundaries of the base itself.
In addition to generating jobs, wages and contract expenditures, Fairchild’s exceptional efforts to enhance the base and its Global Reach for America mission through investments in people, programs, facilities, equipment and energy were recently recognized with the Air Mobility Command’s 2020 Commander-In-Chief Installation Excellence Award nomination. This award is widely recognized as the award designating the “best base” in Air Mobility Command (AMC) for the past year. This was Fairchild’s first nomination and the base received an “Honorable Mention” at the Air Force level.
“From Mobility Guardian and Skyfest to the arrival of our first ‘new’ KC-135s, the greater Spokane community has proven an absolutely integral part of our team and its success,” said Col. Derek M. Salmi, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Commander. “We recognize we simply couldn’t accomplish our mission without the unmatched and fantastic commitment of our community to our Airmen and their families!”
Fairchild AFB intentionally reaches beyond its gates to foster relationships with the broader community. This effort includes educating civic leaders about the vital role Fairchild AFB fulfills at a regional, national and global level. Avista was one of 22 Spokane-area organizations represented in Fairchild Air Force Base’s 2019 Civic Leader Tour to Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, Oct. 16 and 17, aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker.
The tour was designed to increase understanding of Air Mobility Command (which includes Fairchild’s 92nd Air Refueling Wing), United States Transportation Command, the 618th Air Operations Center and how the community can impact quality of life for Team Fairchild Airmen and their families.
“We value the opportunities we have to bring our community leaders together and hope to highlight some of the issues we’re facing in the Air Force, and to come together to find a solution,” said Col. Salmi who piloted the tour. “It has fostered a lot of great discussions and built great connections.”
While at Scott AFB, four-star General Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command commander, sat down with Fairchild’s civic leaders to discuss some of the biggest hurdles the Air Force is working to overcome, such as professional license reciprocity, child care, and education system concerns in their respective communities. A number of these concerns stem from the relocation of Airmen and their families in order to fulfill Air Force mission requirements.
Air Mobility Command (AMC) executes Rapid Global Mobility for America and enables Global Reach – the ability to respond anywhere in the world in a matter of hours. This is accomplished through AMC’s four core mission areas:
So far in 2019, Air Mobility Command Airmen have flown 20,000 missions. They have transported 952,000 passengers, delivered 723 million tons of cargo and evacuated 3,400 patients.
Fairchild AFB is set to expand by about 400 Airmen and their families in 2020, with the recent reactivation of the historic 97th Air Refueling Squadron. The resulting economic impact will continue to drive growth in the Spokane region and beyond by an estimated $15.9 million each year.