ST. MARYS — A new study shows Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay is one of the largest economic generators in South Georgia.

The base, home to a fleet of ballistic and guided missile submarines, has an overall annual economic impact of $1.142 billion to the local economy.

The study, commissioned by The Camden Partnership and prepared by Georgia Southern University’s Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development, estimates direct spending by the base at $855 million, with spending by other sectors generating another $287 million to local economies.

According to the study, government services account for five in every 10 jobs in Camden County. Of the estimated 9,000 military-related jobs in the county, local residents hold about 6,600 of them, according to the study. The other 2,300 workers were described as “daily commuters,” with 32 percent coming from Nassau County, Fla., 26 percent coming from Duval County, Fla., and 18 percent from Charlton County.

Spending from these jobs is a major part of the indirect impact of $458 million, the study said.

Sheila McNeill, president of The Camden Partnership, praised the men and women at Kings Bay for their role in supporting the local economy. She also praised ERA and the Georgia Association of Realtors for their support and for funding the study.

“The impact Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay has on Camden County is something that goes without analyzing, however crunching the numbers is beneficial for a few major reasons,” McNeill said. “Having a data driven insight into the financial impact SUBASE has on our county, and all of Georgia, is a crucial component when discussing the installation.”

James Coughlin, executive director of the Camden County Joint Development Authority, said Kings Bay remains a major asset for future growth in the area.

“Though the present numbers are immensely promising, the work doesn’t stop there,” he said. “When we discuss opportunities to grow the mission of SUBASE, we are discussing development and additional employment opportunities for Camden County.”

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