[The Daily Gazette, 3/21/2014, by Justin Mason]
Many Saratogians are unaware there is an employer in Saratoga County that impacts our economy at a rate of four times that of the Saratoga Race Track. It has been the best-kept secret that the United States Navy impacts the economy of the Capital Region by over a billion dollars each year.
The Navy trains thousands of naval officers and enlisted personnel each year to serve on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines. There are only two places in the world where this training takes place, and one of those is the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory Kenneth A. Kesselring site in Milton.
To understand the Navy’s presence in Saratoga County is to understand that it has a tremendous impact on our local economy. According to the Navy’s 2009 Economic Impact Assessment, the Navy’s total economic impact on the Capital Region, as a combination of earnings and output, is $1,354,192,850. This includes spending on Navy personnel as well as direct, indirect and induced impacts. The total employment impact, including naval personnel and direct, indirect, and induced employment, is 9,971. These are staggering numbers, and prompt one to reflect on how they personally may be affected by the presence of the Navy.
In the Daily Gazette article referenced at the top, Commander Vince Garcia, commanding officer at Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, which is located near the Kesselring site, is quoted as saying:
“If they get that $24 million cut, [the Navy] will drop their staff size down by a third and maybe their student size down by half,”
The full Economic Impact Assessment can be viewed here: CNRMA-EIA-Final Report2009 (the assessment on Saratoga Springs begins on approximately page 101)
This Times Union article, “This isn’t rocket science–but it’s close” provides a glimpse of what takes place at the Kesselring site, and the role New York has played in advancing the Navy’s mission to train sailors for the nuclear fleet.