Officials looking to boost Grissom air base business

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Officials are looking for ways to boost military-related business around Indiana's Grissom Air Reserve Base.

The Miami County Economic Development Authority has been awarded a $45,000 contract to analyze business opportunities in a six-county area surrounding the base about 12 miles north of Kokomo. That area iis composed of Howard, Miami, Tipton, Cass, Clinton and Fulton counties.

Officials in the area plan to offer incentives to businesses moving to the area or providing goods or services for existing companies in the region, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

The Miami County agency said the region saw an 8 percent decline in defense-related jobs between 2009 and 2015. The group said Grissom has seen its Department of Defense contracts fall by about $7 million in the last two years.

Grissom was downgraded from full Air Force base status to a reserve base in 1994. It mainly now operates KC-135R Stratotanker refueling planes.

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