- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Payroll dollars and defense contracts totaling more than $301 million were spent by Naval Support Facility Indian Head for fiscal 2012, according to a U.S. Navy report.
A recently updated report also states that more than 3,400 people were employed at the facility as of early 2013.
“It’s significant, and we wanted to provide that report for the public because obviously the base is a large employer for the county,” Gary Wagner, Navy spokesman, said. He added that the base is second only to Charles County public schools when it comes to employment numbers in the county.
The federal government’s 2012 fiscal year ran from October 2011 to September 2012.
The payroll of federal civilian employees and military personnel totaled $289 million, and defense contract spending came to $12 million, a press release states.
“We just think that’s a positive story and one that we hope continues,” Wagner said.
Fiscal 2012 data for Joint Interoperability Test Command at NSF Indian Head was unavailable at the time of the report. According to a news release, JITC accounted for $7.5 million in federal civilian payroll and $22.8 million in defense contract spending in fiscal 2011.
Seventy-one percent of the military and civilian workforce at NSF Indian Head live in Charles County, 6 percent live in St. Mary’s County and 6.5 percent commute from Virginia, according to the report.
“I think that the report confirms our feeling that many of the employees live in Charles County because of Indian Head [naval base], the quality of life and the quality of schools,” Kwasi Holman, the county’s economic development director, said.
The Indian Head naval base, the Navy’s first established presence in Southern Maryland, was founded in 1890. During World War I, the base served as a major producer of smokeless gunpowder for the Navy. After several changes, the base landed its current name in 2005.
Wagner said that, so far, government sequestration is not directed at workforce numbers. However, one-day-per-week planned furloughs for government employees, including military and civilian personnel at NSF Indian Head, will mean 20 percent less money per paycheck.
The furloughs, which are scheduled to begin in June and last through the end of September, would affect the base’s payroll numbers for fiscal 2013.