Idaho is home to two military installations that bring great benefits to state and local economies: Mountain Home Air Force Base and the Air National Guard at Gowen Field.
The Mountain Home Air Force Base currently has about 4,500 assigned military personnel and over 7,000 military retirees living throughout the local area. A previous economic analysis by the U.S. Air Force, assisted by Boise State University, estimated the annual economic impact of the Mountain Home Air Force Base at approximately $1 billion.
The Air National Guard at Gowen Field employs about 1,300 Idaho Air National Guard members, and its sole mission has been with the A-10 fighter jet. Gowen Field has a strong economic impact of $210 million on the local community. Recently, the Air Force decided to retire its fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt jets over the course of 2016. Idaho leaders, including Governor Otter, have been in discussions with the U.S. Air Force regarding the future of Gowen Field after the A-10 jets have been retired.
The Air Force Base and Air National Guard are strong economic drivers in the state and are integral to the local communities. Governor Otter has indicated that those who have worked at the Air Force Base tend to stay in Idaho or return after retirement at rates higher than most other military bases. This trend boosts the numbers of skilled residents in the state. Idaho benefits greatly from these two military installations and from the men and women who choose to serve their country.