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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Sequestration

September 25, 2015

 

As one of the foundations of San Diego’s economy, the military plays an integral role in San Diego’s economic vitality. Between the release of San Diego Military Advisory Council’s (SDMAC) 7th annual Military Economic Impact Report, the Governors Military Council (GMC) quarterly board meeting and the upcoming  airshow at MCAS Miramar, the military has been on the radar for many San Diegans this month.  

At the release of the SDMAC economic impact study this past Wednesday, updated data confirmed just how important the military is to San Diego’s economy:

·         The military sector is responsible for about 328,000 -  22 percent - of the region’s total jobs in 2015 after accounting for all of the ripple effects of defense spending – an increase from last year’s 317,000 jobs. 

·         An estimated total of $24.8 billion in direct spending related to defense was sent to San Diego County during fiscal year 2015, an amount equal to about $7,700 for each of the county’s residents.

·         In fiscal year 2015, the 49 U.S. Navy ships home-ported in San Diego will see direct spending of about $2.6 billion, which will equate to a total economic impact of $5.7 billion in GRP.

·         The two aircraft carriers based here will bring a combined $1.5 billion to the economy based on updated inputs, multipliers, and models.  San Diego’s home-ported ship count is projected to climb to a total of 84 by calendar year 2023.

Although these are impressive numbers in themselves, they do not capture the depth of the defense sector. Case in point: in the early ‘70s, two engineers – Irwin Jacobs and Andrew Viterbi -- received a SPAWAR contract to  advance communications technologies (CMDA). Years later, Jacobs would go on to form Qualcomm, San Diego’s largest private-sector employer, and the home of the modern day cell phone.  That is just one example - San Diego’s military drives billions of dollars of research to the region, attracts talent from around the country, and has proven to be instrumental in inspiring major technological innovations impacting both the defense and commercial markets.

 In addition to the numerous elected officials on hand for the study release, the Governor’s Military Council (GMC) simultaneously held its quarterly board meeting in San Diego. Started as an advisory council to protect California’s assets, the GMC became a standing committee with the passage of AB 442, which was signed into law on September 21. While in town, the GMC toured several military staples, including NASSCO, SPAWAR and Naval Base Point Loma. Building on the announcement and the momentum of the GMC’s statewide strategy release, EDC is working in close partnership with SDMAC to ensure San Diego’s key military interests are represented in the GMC's actions. We are pleased to confirm that RADM (ret.) Ken Slaght, a former commander of SPAWAR and the co-chair of the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE), will join the GMC as its newest member.    
               
 Our military drives innovation, attracts a diverse set of talent and remains the single most critical industry in terms of impact on our GRP.  The looming threat of sequestration coupled with leadership uncertainties in D.C. confirm that we need to stay diligent and focused as a region to provide the concerted effort required to adequately support our key military installations and our defense industrial base. Our economy depends on it.

 

September 27, 2013

The Fifth Annual SDMAC Military Impact Study was released this week, quantifying the impact of the military's boot print on the San Diego region. Although sequestration has authorized military cutbacks, the region still has a strong defense cluster, with $25 billion flowing into our economy and more than one in five jobs (22 percent) linked to military spending.  The study also illustrated how the defense sector is linked to other sector of the region's economy.

Military Impact Infographic

Media Coverage:

 

Coverage:

ABC 10 , San Diego Military Advisory Council releases Military Economic Impact Study

NBC 7, Local Economic Impact from Military Budget Cuts

KPBS, More military cutbacks will be felt in San Diego’s pocketbook

 

April 15, 2013

Photo Credit: Tony Manolatos

On the plane ride from Coronado to the U.S. Navy’s secluded San Clemente Island, more than one person made a reference to the hit dramatic series “Lost” and the eerie remoteness the TV show shared with our destination. From the plane you could see there wasn’t much to look at on this rugged and narrow stretch of land about 70 miles northwest of San Diego.

San Clemente Island is a place few civilians know about and even fewer see, but it plays a critical role in preparing the Navy to protect and serve. Every Navy SEAL, including the ones who took out Osama bin Laden, trains here at some point. Two “towns” have been built to resemble communities in the Middle East. It’s here where the SEALs, who train for two years before their first combat mission, practice missions at night. Snipers firing at moving targets inside buildings is just one of numerous clandestine training operations carried out routinely on the island.

At the far south end, Navy ships fire ashore while helicopters zero in on targets below. The U.S. Marines also use the island to conduct amphibious assault training and the FBI works there with Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams.  

The 21-mile island is just part of the story; to the west, an ocean area the size of California is where Naval ships and aircraft practice maneuvers.

No one lives on the island year-round and on off days you’ll find less than 100 people. The convenience store is stocked with chewing tobacco and is next door to the lone bar - the Salty Crab. All of the common areas, including the mess hall and the gym, are spotless. The Navy acquired San Clemente Island in 1934. Before that, it was home to goats and farmers.

Today, it is the Navy’s only remaining ship-to-shore live firing range, but it’s facing potential cutbacks due to sequestration. The Navy recently invited a Photo Credit: Tony Manolatoshandful of San Diegans to the island so we have a better understanding of the role it plays in military preparations.

During our visit, we heard just as much about the environment and wildlife as we heard about training exercises. On one part of the island, SEAL hopefuls were on Day 2 of “Hell Week” - which wasn’t even an afterthought among the biologists and botanists working to protect native plants and wildlife.

If the Navy encounters endangered species it stops training until the animals are safely removed from the area - a process that can take months and cost millions of dollars.

From a recent U-T San Diego story:

“The Navy spent more than $7 million last fiscal year to protect the island’s endangered or threatened species, which include 10 federally listed animals and plants.

"Now the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is considering delisting or downgrading the status of three protected species - the Island Night Lizard and two plants - because they are flourishing, said Sandy Vissman, the federal agency’s coordinator for the island.”

Adm. Dixon Smith and Capt. Gary Mayes led our visit of the 56-square-mile island on Tuesday (April 9), and we couldn’t have asked for better hosts.

These two men, and other men and women we met, care deeply about San Clemente Island, the training missions and the plants and animals who flourish there. They took the time to talk to each of us individually and answer all of our questions.

These are difficult times financially for the Navy and other military branches, but leaders like Adm. Smith and Capt. Mayes make it difficult for you to focus on the negative. We are fortunate to have such exceptional people committed to serving America.

As we said our goodbyes and left the island, we were again reminded of the TV series "Lost.”

The show frequently made viewers aware of one of life’s great lessons - it’s easier to succeed, and survive, with the help of others. Lost’s fascinating cast of characters constantly found themselves in need of support from others - in both obvious and unexpected ways.

On the plane ride home from San Clemente Island, we realized we now have a role in supporting the men and women on this remote patch of land. It was clear to us that it was our job to bring you their story, to write about our experiences, to do what we could to support the fascinating cast of characters we had just met. 

January 2, 2013

 

A message from our President & CEO:

With 2013 already under way, and some elements of the fiscal cliff addressed and/or postponed through last minute actions in Washington D.C., we wanted to take a moment to share what we still foresee as significant challenges for San Diego’s economy in the months ahead.

While both chambers of Congress did eventually approve a deal to fend off certain elements of the fiscal cliff, their plan postpones decisions about sequestration; the $110 billion in spending cuts that would deeply affect the military and many other sectors of the economy that receive funding from the federal government. As we have been noting over the past year with our colleagues at the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC), here in San Diego this could most notably impact our military/defense sectors as well as the research that is the backbone of our technology industries.

According to today’s Washington Post, “The legislation, which President Obama supports but had not signed as of Tuesday night, would delay across-the-board budget reductions known as sequestration for two months, setting up likely fights in Congress over the federal debt ceiling over the same period. The fiscal-cliff deal would offset half the cost of a delayed sequestration with cuts to discretionary spending split evenly across defense and non-defense programs. The other half would come by way of new revenue raised.” 

Even when a deal is reached regarding sequestration we will still see significant reductions in funding that will have big implications for our region. These reductions could have far reaching impacts to workforce, infrastructure, and research.  In the days ahead we will continue to provide you with the best and most up-to-date analysis we can on what all this will mean for our economy. In the meantime, we wanted to remind you all of the layoff support and aversion services that EDC, Manpower, San Diego Workforce Partnership and all of the sub-regional EDCs (North, South and East) can provide to companies that are faced with staffing reductions.  All of these services are free to the business community and are available year-round.

For any companies you may know of that are currently filing WARN notices, informing staff of possible layoffs and/or in the midst of downsizing, please forward them to our website to learn more about the Rapid Response services available to them.

In all ways we look forward to a strong and productive 2013 for our region. Together, by being informed and prepared, we can stand strong in minimizing the impact of sequestration to our economy and in developing new plans for job creation, industry growth and economic prosperity.