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Boeing-backed study lists GMD work benefits for Alaska

File image: Fort Greely Alaska.
by Martin Sieff
Washington (UPI) Nov 21, 2008
Boeing has cited a new University of Alaska Fairbanks study that concluded the company's Ground-based Midcourse Defense -- GMD -- missile defense operations in the state generated over $246 million for Alaska's economy in 2007 and maintained over 700 direct and indirect jobs.

The study, published Nov. 13, said Boeing's GMD operations also benefited native Alaskan businesses and gave "significant benefits" to their communities.

The study said that in 2007, Boeing's GMD operations in Alaska generated a $52 million payroll, $72 million in Alaskan household earnings and $9.6 million in state and local government tax revenue.

Workers on the program were paid 1.7 times the average salary for an Alaskan worker, the study said.

"Of particular interest is the effect in rural areas of Alaska, where the economic activity stimulated by Boeing has offered stable, high-paying employment for residents whose options are very limited," Hans Geier, an economics professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks said in the report. "This has allowed many families to remain in these local and rural communities, supporting property values, preserving indigenous businesses, local governments and other services."

Boeing said it had requested the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks to make the report on the company's behalf.

Boeing is the prime contractor for GMD, which remains the central element of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's ballistic missile defense deployment. The company said its GMD operations were carried out in four regions of Alaska: Fort Greely, where more Ground-based Mid-course Interceptors -- GBIs -- are redeployed than anywhere else in the world, Adak, Kodiak and Shemya.

"Since Boeing was awarded the initial contract for the GMD program in 1998, Alaska has led the way in bringing the best workforce and supplier base together on this program," said Boeing Vice President and GMD Program Director Greg Hyslop. "It's gratifying to see that our work has supported the overall growth and health of the state's economy."

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US to activate anti-missile radar in Israel next month
Jerusalem (AFP) Nov 22, 2008
A radar system, which the United States agreed in July to deploy in Israel to counter a perceived missile threat from Iran, is to go operational in mid-December, army radio reported on Saturday.

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