Presence Felt

Grand Forks AFB, N.D., had an economic impact of more than $360 million on its surrounding area in Fiscal 2007, up $7 million from the previous fiscal year. The Grand Forks Herald reported June 5 that the new figure, issued by the base June 4, combines the base’s payroll ($138.9 million) and spending ($185.7 million) with the estimated value of jobs created ($35.9 million). Grand Forks is undergoing a transition from a primary tanker location to a home for MQ-1 Predator and RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles, which are expected to start arriving in the next year or so. This change likely means fewer airmen will be stationed at the base, the newspaper said. However, Grand Forks may also host the new KC-X tanker at some point.