A Citizen’s Guide to Dyess | Part 3 of 6
By Kristina Jones
Beyond the B-1s: The mutually beneficial relationship between the City of Abilene and Dyess Air Force Base for the last half-century is no secret. If you’ve kept up with Abilene Scene’s Dyess Dossier series, you know the history of the heroics of Lt. Col. William Edwin Dyess, and you’ve read about Abilene citizens serving as honorary commanders who reach out to the military members of Dyess and welcome them to the community. But how much do you know about the impact of Abilene’s largest employer on Abilene’s economy? How does the presence of a 6,000-plus square foot military base shape the community of Abilene? Here are the numbers to know.
4 – the number of military branches that have more than just an office in Abilene. Dyess is home to the Armed Forces Reserve Center, completed in 2011, which serves as a central point for the Marines, Army Reserves and the Texas Army National Guard.
75 – the percent of Dyess service members and their families who live off base (in non-military housing). Look around your neighborhood; chances are, you live near a military family.
200 – the number of indirect jobs created because of Dyess Air Force Base. This number only reflects the first layer of jobs created and accounted for through the Department of Defense. Additional jobs in the community exist to support military members and their families, along with businesses throughout the community who support the infrastructure of the base (e.g. school teachers, fast food workers, car dealerships, dry cleaners, fitness centers, small businesses providing contract work).
3,500 – the approximate number of military retirees living in Abilene and surrounding communities. This number does not include family members affiliated with the retirees.
4,500 – the approximate number of Abilene-area service members pursuing higher education. Degree programs range from associate’s degrees all the way through master’s degrees. Nearly 20 percent of those are enrolled in local institutions of higher education.
10,800 – the number of active duty military and family members who live in the Abilene area. Active duty military members account for 4,600 of those. If you include both family members and the civilian employees of Dyess, the number rises to 11,600.
$450,000,000 – the estimated annual economic impact of Dyess AFB to the Abilene community. This number doesn’t include the investment of airplanes, buildings, equipment and land, which are estimated to be at $14 Billion.