The military is such an integral part of the state and local economies that Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach is helping Gov. John Hickenlooper set up the Colorado National Defense Support Council, Bach announced today at his monthly news conference.
Chairing the new group, which apparently doesn't have a website yet, is Don Addy, president of the nonprofit National Homeland Defense Foundation, which is based in Colorado Springs and hosts a homeland defense symposium every fall at The Broadmoor.
"We have a tremendous partnership with our Department of Defense installations," Addy said at the news conference. "Up until now, there was no organization in the state focused on nurturing that relationship. Our mission will be to nurture, preserve and protect our bases in Colorado that mean so much to our economy."
So while the soldiers and airmen watch our backs against enemies, Addy, Bach and company will watch theirs — to make sure the money keeps flowing. And it's a river, according to the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, which said in a report issued this year based on 2010 spending:
•Colorado as a whole receives $11.1 billion through the Department of Defense
•Estimated economic impact of the military on Colorado Springs metro was $6.5 billion in FY2010
•The direct and indirect military impact on the Colorado Springs economy is 30-35% of gross metropolitan product
•The five major military installations in El Paso County accounted for over 73,000 jobs in FY2010. (25,000 were civilian)
Those installations are the Air Force Academy, Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Fort Carson and the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.
Bach said his participation will cost the city nothing other than his time, and he pledged to not even seek reimbursement for mileage and expenses to attend meetings.
Here are the members of the Council:
Don Addy, National Homeland Defense Foundation
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Anderson
Christian Anschutz, Western Development Group
Steve Bach, Colorado Springs mayor
Matt Carpenter, El Pomar Foundation
Retired Air Force Gen. Kevin Chilton
Maj. Gen. Mike Edwards, Adjutant General
Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Larry Fortner
Gov. John Hickenlooper
Kevin Hougen, Aurora Chamber of Commerce president
Bill Hybl, El Pomar Foundation
Keith King, state senator
Chris Melcher, Colorado Springs city attorney
Chuck Murphy, Springs developer
Doug Quimby, La Plata Communities president
Retired Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart
Retired Army Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano
Marvin Stein, Pueblo businessman