SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The military poured $28.1 billion into San Diego's economy, according to the Military Economic Impact Study released Thursday.
The figure higher than expected, according to Executive Director of SDMAC Mark Balmert, due to more ships stopping in San Diego and more sailors and Marines coming to the region.
The author of the report, Dr. Lynn Reaser, said these numbers back the idea the military is a mega-industry. She noted San Diego is home to one in every six of the nation's sailors.
The study's results were announced across the bay from Naval Air Station North Island, at the Harbor Drive Annex.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer was among the speakers and drove home the message: Don't take our military for granted.
"Those dollars are really going to help every portion of our city," Faulconer said.
The focus of this year's study surrounded NAVWAR, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command. The Navy communications headquarters used to be known as SPAWAR.
"The new plan is to develop those 70 acres into a technology hub with the NAVWAR headquarters at its center and that will change the Midway District. It will be wonderful for San Diego and it's wonderful for the Navy," Balmert said.
"What that's going to mean for our national security for our entire country but also to connect the airport to the trolley," Faulconer added.
NAVWAR produced $3 billion in gross regional product and houses 26,000 jobs, according to Balmert, who described the jobs as, "among the better jobs in our community they're high tech jobs, high paying jobs."
The study states more than four-fifths of the workforce hold at least a four-year college degree. About two-fifths hold a Master's or Doctorate degree.
Reaser said those jobs are secure and will grow, "two-thirds of NAVWAR's employees work in cyber security which is a major emerging cluster in the overall county."
Balmert said the future looks brights for San Diego's military growth. He said in the next five years we will double the amount of submarines at Point Loma and add another aircraft carrier to our home port.
San Diego has two carriers that home port here, and one is currently ported. The USS Abraham Lincoln is coming back and will dock by the end of the year.