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Installation commander discusses mission growth with state officials

The sunset highlights hangar 1 Aug. 20, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

The sunset highlights hangar 1 Aug. 20, 2019, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Members of the Utah Veterans and Military Affairs Commission gathered at Hill Oct. 22 to discuss projected mission growth at the installation and how it will impact the base and surrounding communities. (U.S. Air Force photo by R. Nial Bradshaw)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Members of the Utah Veterans and Military Affairs Commission gathered at the Hill Aerospace Museum Oct. 22 to discuss projected mission growth at Hill Air Force Base and how it will impact the base and surrounding communities.

75th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Jon Eberlan represented the base, speaking to the group about the primary missions where growth is expected.

“Over the next five years, the largest source of projected growth across the installation is the stand-up of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program,” Eberlan said. “This is the replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile system, and is an $80 billion-plus acquisition program.”

He said planners expect the GBSD program to bring over 1,000 new jobs to Hill, with roughly another 1,000 to 1,500 jobs primarily coming from increased depot maintenance and software engineering workloads.

“From an installation perspective, as we go along this growth path, we have to make sure we have the supporting facilities and infrastructure in place prior to need,” he said. “We also have to be mindful of challenges that come with growth, such as increased traffic at the gates. We are keeping a very close eye on all of those things as our missions continue to grow.”

Eberlan told the commission members he is proud of the unmatched support the base receives from the State of Utah.

“I have never been in a place where the military is more supported,” he said. “The support we receive from state and local leaders makes this a great place to live and work, and a great place to serve our country and our Air Force.”

Following the commission meeting, attendees of the base were given tours of the work areas expected to see the majority of growth, where they could ask questions to senior leaders and subject matter experts.