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Wing commander speaks at ACED investor forum

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, spoke to the Adams County Economic Development investor forum Dec. 4, 2015, at the Doubletree Westminster, Westminster, Colo. The forum allowed the wing commander to speak on Buckley Air Force Base’s economic impact, as well as its partnership with the surrounding communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Meadors/Released)

Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, speaks to the Adams County Economic Development investor forum Dec. 4, 2015, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Westminster, Colo. The forum allowed the wing commander to speak on Buckley Air Force Base’s economic impact, as well as its partnership with the surrounding communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Samantha Meadors/Released)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.- -- Col. John Wagner, 460th Space Wing commander, spoke to members of the Adams County Economic Development on Dec. 3, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Westminster, Colorado.

The event provided the opportunity for the commander to bring awareness of Buckley Air Force Base's economic and community impact to Adams County community leaders, as well as gain their support.

"We didn't really know all this about the defense industry and its impact on Adam's county specifically," said Barry Gore, Adams County Development Investor chief executive officer.

ACED is an economic development agency that plays a leadership role in driving economic vitality and sustainable business development in the region. Through partnerships, ACED promotes opportunities for larger economic and business development in the community.

Wagner discussed the economic impact of the mission that occurs on Buckley AFB.

"4,000 jobs were created just last year, and that number continues to increase," he said. "Our total expenditure is $191 million. I'm trying to grow that even more. We are pushing very strongly for an increase in military construction for our space-based infrared system support facility and the dental clinic. We're consolidating our medical group and renovating our medical facility on base. You can anticipate over 1 billion dollars of economic impact next year."

Kevin Hougen, Aurora Chamber of Commerce president, touched briefly on how the relationships with the community and economic leaders support the success of the installation.

"Really it is about our community," Hougen said. "Having all of the Active Duty, Guard and Reserve in our communities every day; the economic impact is so huge. Military members from the seven installations (in Colorado) are as large as our whole agricultural community, so it's just an economic benefit."

Through partnerships, Buckley AFB is able to create a supportive and highly functional Air Force base, Wagner said. Strong relationships with the community provide the resources for the installation's mission to remain on point 24/7/365.
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