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Military Footprint Grows In San Diego

— The Department of Defense spent more than $18 billion in San Diego in 2009. That generated $30 billion in economic output and created more than 350,000 jobs. This is the third time the San Diego Military Advisory Council has measured the military's economic impact on the region. To some, it is no surprise military spending is increasing in San Diego, but the size of the economic footprint is impressive.

"Data for 2008 was $26.5 billion," said Navy Adm. Bill French, "And now we're up to $30.5 billion, so we saw about a $4 billion total increase in impact. And that's not projections, that's real data that we looked at in 2008 and we looked at in 2009."

The San Diego Military Advisory Council says the amount of military spending in the county will likely continue to rise in 2010 and 2011 when those numbers are available.

There are a lot of reasons why San Diego does so well, said Jim Pettitt, San Diego president of the council.

"Training ranges, deep water port, access to the ocean, the support of the local community for the military, the skilled workforce its found here in San Diego -- all those things are going to keep the military a strong segment of society here."

About 350,000 local jobs are tied to the region's military-industrial complex, said Pettitt. Military spending did a lot to soften the blow of the economic downturn the nation just experienced, according to Pettitt, and he expects military spending in the region to grow, just not as rapidly as in recent years.

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