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A new study shows the military and defense industry supports $13.3 billion in economic activity in Illinois.

The statewide economic impact study was released Thursday by the Lt. Governor Sheila Simon's Office and the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It also shows the industry has helped create 150,000 jobs and supports about 2 percent of the state's gross domestic product.

Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, the Rock Island Arsenal in the Quad Cities and the Naval Station Great Lakes have the largest impact. The study shows the three bases support 85,000 jobs and contribute $9.1 million to the Illinois economy.

Simon says the new figures should help prove the importance of Illinois military bases, in case Congress decides to realign or close bases in the next two years.

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