Iowa Air Guard’s 185th has significant economic impact on “Siouxland”

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185 ARW PA

The 185th Air Refueling Wing based at the Sioux City, Iowa airport recently released their annual Economic Impact Statement for the past year.  The Air Refueling Wing is one of two Air units in the Hawkeye state that belong to the Iowa Air National Guard.  The annual report shows that the unit has an overall economic Impact of nearly $80 million dollars.

According to the statement, the 185th entered 2015 with nearly 1,400 full-time and part-time jobs which makes the organization rank as one of the top employers in the Sioux City area.

The main mission of the 185th as a mid-air refueling wing is flying and maintaining the KC-135R tanker aircraft. Most members of the organization however are employed as part of a large support staff. Jobs are available in the medical professions, fire and police protection, structural maintenance, logistics, supply and food service just to name a few.

The Sioux City unit has a fleet of eight mid-air refueling aircraft. The aircraft are also used for transporting cargo and personnel as well as medical evacuation missions. The unit's mission statement says the 185th also plays a crucial role in providing humanitarian and national disaster response during state or national emergencies.

Also in 2014, Sergeant Bluff native Colonel Larry Christensen took over as wing commander. Christensen is a long time member of the unit who has piloted the A-7, F-16 and now the KC-135 aircraft all as part of the 185th. He said the economic impact statement is a good showcase that also emulates his priorities as commander; Executing the mission, Managing Recourses, Leading People and Improving the unit. 

"All of my priorities are reflected in the economic impact statement", said Christensen, "something that the National Guard and the 185th as a unit, have always done particularly well is managing resources, primarily because of the kind of organization that we are."

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