Press conference & luncheon attended by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, California Governor's Military Council, military commanders & defense industry leaders

SAN DIEGO, CA, Nov. 1, 2016 - The San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) today unveiled its 8th Annual SDMAC Military Economic Impact Study (MEIS) at a press conference and luncheon at the Admiral Kidd Catering & Conference Center located at Naval Base Point Loma. Commissioned by SDMAC and produced by the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University, the annual study solidifies the significant and tremendous impact the military and defense communities bring to the San Diego region.




"Our city is proud of our military heritage and we also recognize that the military is an important economic driver in the San Diego region," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "This report highlights the role the military plays as a major economic engine that helps us pave our streets, keep parks and libraries open, and keep our neighborhoods safe." 

"We are pleased to present our 2016 Military Economic Impact Study," said Ward A. Wilson, president of SDMAC. "San Diego's pivotal role in the rebalance of the U.S. forces to the Pacific, it's network of defense contractors, and its geographic advantages for training represent a powerful economic force. Our Military Economic Impact Study has become a valuable resource to educate policy and law makers at the local, state, and federal levels about the tremendous value the military and defense communities bring to San Diego." 

Press conference participants included the following:

  • Point Loma Nazarene University Chief Economist, Dr. Lynn Reaser
  • City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
  • Brigadier General Kevin Killea, Commanding General Marine Corps Installations West
  • Navy Region Southwest Chief of Staff, Curt Jones

A panel discussion to further examine key insights from the 2016 SDMAC MEIS followed the press conference. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Reaser. Panelists included the following:

  • General Ed Hanlon, USMC (Ret.), Vice Chair, California Governor's Military Council
  • John Thomas, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Cubic Corporation
  • Vice Admiral Jim Zortman, USN (Ret.), Chair, San Diego Regional EDC Board of Directors

"San Diego's military complex represents the region's most important and largest economic catalyst," said Dr. Reaser. "One fifth of San Diego County's economy relies on this key sector. In 2016, defense spending will generate roughly $45 billion-or 20 percent-of the region's total Gross Regional Product (GRP). Additionally, an estimated $23 billion in direct spending related to defense has been sent to San Diego and the military will generate one out of every 5 jobs in the county, this year. Point Loma Nazarene University is pleased to work with the San Diego Military Advisory Council and its partners in creating this annual report." 

Highlights of the 2016 SDMAC Military Economic Impact Study include the following:

  • An estimated total of $23 billion in direct spending related to defense was sent to San Diego County during fiscal year 2016, an amount equal to more than $7,000 for each of the county's residents.
  • Defense-related activities and spending will generate an estimated $45 billion of gross regional product (GRP) for San Diego County in fiscal 2016, which represents 20 percent of the region's total GRP.
  • The military sector generates more than 300,000 of the region's total jobs in 2016, or about one out of every five jobs in San Diego County after accounting for all of the ripple effects of defense spending.
  • Income generated as a result of all of the direct and multiplier effects of military-linked spending will amount to an estimated $19.6 billion in fiscal year 2016.
  • In fiscal 2016, the 53 U.S. Navy ships home ported in San Diego will see direct spending of about $2 billion that will equate to a total economic impact of $6 billion in GRP. The two aircraft carriers in San Diego will bring a combined $1.5 billion to the local economy. San Diego's home-ported ship count is projected to climb to a total of 84 by calendar year 2023.

Dr. Reaser continued, "The recovery in spending from the effects of sequestration and the continued increased focus of the Navy on the Pacific Rim should slightly boost the economic impact of the defense spending in FY 2017." 

The San Diego Military Advisory Council is proud to lead the effort to enhance the partnership between the military, our community, our elected officials and civic leaders, and the business community to safeguard the vital synergy between the military, and the region. We appreciate the support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their sponsorship of the 8th Annual SDMAC Military Economic Impact Study. Merrill Lynch is a private wealth management division of Bank of America. 


SMDAC was founded in 2004 with the mission to facilitate and advance the partnership between the military, elected officials, civic leaders, and the business community in order to enhance the understanding of the military's many contributions to the San Diego region. Annually, SDMAC commissions an economic impact study showing the considerable benefits from defense-related spending and presence of the military in San Diego. In 2016, San Diego benefitted from more than $23 billion in direct defense spending and was supported by more than 300,000 jobs by the military sector. To learn more, click here.