Fairchild Air Force Base
Fairchild Air Force Base is Spokane County's largest employer. Since 1942, it has been a key part of our nation's defense strategy - from a World War II repair depot, to a Strategic Air Command bomber wing during the Cold War, to the Air Mobility Command air refueling wing during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Today, Fairchild's aircraft and personnel make up the backbone of the Air Force's tanker fleet on the west coast. Currently, the 92nd Air Refeuling Wing and the 141st Air Refueling Wing/Washington Air National Guard are in classc association. The base is also home to the 336th Training Group and 17 other tenant organizations, including the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency (JPRA) and Armed Forces Reserve Center.
Fairchild AFB has an annual economic impact of nearly $450 million and is responsible for 7 percent of the total gross regional product.
Forward Fairchild is a committee of Greater Spokane Incorporated that formed in 2003 to advocate, protect and defend Fairchild AFB. Recently, Forward Fairchild and Greater Spokane Incorporated advocated for two MILCON (Military Construction) projects at the base: a new headquarters building and Phase II of the Survive, Evade, Resist and Escape (SERE) School. Both projects combine for about $30 million. The base also recently completed a new 14,000-foot runway.
Greater Spokane Incoroprared is currently advocating for the new KC-46A tankers to be based at Fairchild. The entire Washington federal delegation and Governore Christine Gregoire recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, positioning Fairchild as the ideal location for the new tankers. The leaders of our state delegation sent a letter as well.