One of the primary missions of the local organization dedicated to promoting Dobbins Air Reserve Base, located about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, is describing the significant role the installation plays in national security as well as in the region’s economy.
“Most people in Washington think Dobbins Air Reserve Base is some little reserve base with five airplanes,” said David Connell, CEO of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce and an official with Team Dobbins. “It’s got 21 tenants. The runway can land any aircraft in the world. We’re the only [major] military installation in metro Atlanta,” Connell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Dobbins is the home of the Air Force Reserve Command’s (AFRC) 94th Airlift Wing, the headquarters for AFRC’s 22nd Air Force, and also hosts Marine and Navy Reserve units. It is located next to the Georgia National Guard headquarters.
The base employs more than 2,500 workers, not including the Lockheed Martin factory next door which employs more than 5,700 and uses Dobbins’ runway. The installation’s annual economic impact is more than $160 million.
Team Dobbins formed three years ago to defend the installation from cuts stemming from sequestration or a new BRAC round. But the support organization doesn’t just play defense, according to the story.
“Part of our effort is defense to hold on to what we’ve got, but also to make ourselves candidates to pick up missions when consolidation happens,” Connell said.
Local officials hailed the two-year budget deal reached last month allowing DOD to exceed the Budget Control Act spending caps. And while it’s not clear when Congress will approve a new BRAC round, Team Dobbins is all too aware of the economic loss caused by base closures after the last round resulted in three area installations being shuttered — Fort McPherson, Fort Gillem and Naval Air Station Atlanta.