Ft. Stewart, located just outside of the Savannah MSA, and Hunter Army Airfield generate sufficient economic activity to warrant inclusion of Liberty and Long counties in the larger Savannah CMSA. Ft. Stewart and Hunter AAF have an annual financial impact of $5.6 billion. Fort Stewart is the largest military installation east of the Mississippi River and covers nearly 285,000 acres.
Ft. Stewart and Hunter AAF together are one of Coastal Georgia’s largest employers. The ratio of military to civilian employees is approximately five to one, with 24,235 officers and enlisted military and 4,637 civilians employed at both installations. Ft. Stewart accounts for nearly three-fourths of the military employment in the area.
Pressure to reduce federal and defense budgets lead to a modest reduction in civilian employment in 2012. Withdrawal of combat units from Afghanistan and with no scheduled deployments, the 3rd Infantry Division is scheduled to remain in the area throughout 2014 except for training exercises and unscheduled contingency operations.
In order to foster the relationships with our military leaders and provide the necessary support for our troops, the Chamber has an active Military Affairs Council. The Council serves at the call of the Chair, Dr. Bill Cathcart. The Council conducts quarterly meetings which include an annual Military Appreciation Luncheon to collectively honor our region’s heroes.