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Miami County Goes on the Offensive

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The new group is the Grissom Regional Defense Alliance (GRDA), and its authors are positioning it to grow the number of jobs and defense contracts throughout North Central Indiana.

According to a press release from the Miami County Economic Development Authority (MCEDA), the GRDA–a subcommittee formed through the efforts of the Authority, the Grissom Community Council, and volunteers from Cass, Howard, Miami and Wabash counties—will help expand the Grissom Air Reserve Base and the Grissom Aeroplex through the development of four main focal points:

  • Protecting the Grissom airfield from encroachment or non-compatible uses
  • Growing the military presence at Grissom by adding active duty, reserve, National Guard units or other assets of the Department of Defense (DOD)
  • Pursuing DOD contracts and other federal uses of the Grissom Aeroplex property, and working with the state to develop and implement a marketing strategy for DOD aircraft manufacturing at Grissom Aeroplex encompassing the building, painting, testing and delivery of planes, all at one location
  • Educating local, regional, state and federal leaders on the region's advantages and opportunities for growth in the defense industry

Jim Tidd, executive director of the MCEDA, said Grissom Aeroplex is unique. “Its central location, within the state of Indiana, as well as the Midwest, provides easy access to all major markets,” he said. “While a lot of communities can boast about available land, highway access, workforce etc., the Aeroplex offers something in addition that most communities cannot – that is access to a 12,500-foot runway.”

Plans are also underway to include a second runway to be owned by civilians, incorporation of the airfield into the Federal Aviation Administration's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems and making Grissom the reserve location of the KC-46A tanker.

Jim Tidd, Executive Director
Miami County Economic Development Authority