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City leaders discuss relationship with Air Force Base

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GRAND FORKS, ND--A push to land some new missions at the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

City and county leaders met tonight to discuss ways to make the base more attractive to the air force.

The base has a $286 million economic impact on Grand Forks County.

The county has hired some retention experts -retired air force generals who are providing feedback on what Grand Forks is doing right, and what more they can do - including selling the idea of new missions.

Missions like playing a role in the arctic strategy and more UAS opportunities - along with developing pilots.

"There's some pilot training opportunities that are out there, that there's some potential there as well. Especially with UND and their Aero program and the like to capitalize on that. So there's a myriad of things that are good about this base,” said Consultant, Lt. Gen. Rusty Findley.

The consultants say air force leaders have done a great job of separating the base from other bases across the country - with its UAS missions and development and partnerships with Grand Sky and UND.