133rd Test Squadron helps FD prosper

The 133rd Test Squadron of the Iowa Air National Guard plays a highly significant role in our nation’s defense. It tests communication gear, radar, data links and software before it is issued to all branches of the military. It has the distinction of being the only Air National Guard unit with this type of specialization.

Earlier this week, there was an open house in Fort Dodge for industry executives related to an equipment procurement for the Air Force. Background information provided during briefings at this event was a reminder of just how large a contribution the 133rd’s presence in our town makes to the local economy.

The base covers 13 acres, employs 31 full-time air technicians and has two active duty personnel. Additionally, 132 unit members work part time at the base, as needed.

Spending by the unit – as well as expenditures both by and on behalf of its personnel – benefits Fort Dodge and the region. Here are some of impressive examples of that impact:

$250,000 was spent on lodgings in fiscal year 2014.

$111,000 was spent on meals.

The annual payroll for the 31 employees is more than $2.7 million.

Drill pay for the National Guard members amounts to more than $526,000 annually.

The jobs created indirectly by the unit’s presence in Fort Dodge are estimated to have an economic value to the region of nearly $11 million a year.

The role the 133rd Test Squadron plays in keeping our military strong deserves the thanks of all Americans. It is a vital part of our defense structure. Additionally, as Fort Dodgers, the unit’s positive contribution to the economic well-being of this community also warrants our applause.