Despite cuts, MacDill set to grow again

Tampa, Florida -- Despite military budget cuts across America, MacDill Air Force Base is set to grow again.

According to reports, about two dozen helicopters are now set to move to the base.

This is a big deal for several reasons:

There's the fact that this will add a lot of jobs and spending at the base.

But it's also important because it makes our big base even harder to one day shut down or scale back.

And this is the first major gain for MacDill since the passing of one of its most influential supporters, Congressman Bill Young.

Multiple newsorganizations are reporting that a new wave of aircraft are set to move into MacDill. They're 23 Army Reserve helicopters -- Black Hawks.

Right now, the helicopters are based across the bay at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport.

But the news reports say Congressman David Jolly has announced the helicopters and the 200 people it takes to run them are coming to MacDill.

Their old hangar at St. Pete-Clearwater will also stay busy. The Army Reserve is planning to move eight traditional planes into that airport, along with around 50 jobs.

This is a shot in the arm for MacDill -- a base that has an estimated economic impact here in Tampa Bay of $5 billion.

The boost comes while as many as 1,200 MacDill workers may disappear because of funding cuts and the ends of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And adding more units here helps show anyone looking to close or cut back MacDill that the base is valuable.

The U.S. Coast Guard also has several helicopters and planes based at the St. Pete-Clearwater Airport. They will not be affected by this move.


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