The MC-12W spy plane mission will be based at Beale Air Force Base, bringing hundreds of new airmen and greater economic impact to the surrounding region.
“This should be a shot in the arm for the Yuba-Sutter area economically,” said U.S. Rep. Wally Herger, R-Chico, whose office announced the mission’s placement Friday. “We are so excited.”
With the first plane arriving in May, by July the base will have up to seven of 37 total “Liberty” planes, while the others are deployed elsewhere. The planes fly at low and medium altitudes for reconnaissance and spy missions and are piloted, unlike the Global Hawks also based at Beale.
Brynda Stranix, president and chief operating officer for the Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation, said she expects civilian staff supporting the mission could number another 150.
The mission will require 555 enlisted airmen, and Herger said he would expect it will require new civilian support staff as well.
She added her office will target the contractors, possibly as many as 120, who’ll be servicing the planes in an effort to get them to base their businesses locally.
“When you’re talking families, it could be up to 2,000 people who will be coming here as a result,” she said. Over time, everything from recreation to retail will see an increase in demand.
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