Governor Patrick Announces proposal to bring the headquarters for Air Force's Cyber Command to Hanscom Air Force Base
Project would bring hundreds of technical jobs, economic development to Massachusetts
"Information technology is a key economic driver for Massachusetts, and a key strategic one for our military," said Governor Patrick. "The Air Force's Cyber Command is a natural fit at Hanscom Air Force Base."
Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) in Massachusetts is uniquely qualified to host the headquarters for the Air Force's new Cyber Command (HQ AFCYBER) because it offers the Air Force unparalleled access to the expertise and resources necessary to successfully fulfill the mission. Cyber Command is a new mission undertaken by the Air Force to plan for and strategize against the potential threat against this country's technology infrastructure, such as airport communication, the Internet, or financial institutions.
Hanscom Air Force Base is home to Electronic Systems Center (ESC), which supports the Air Force with the latest in command-and-control and information systems, while providing access to the vital defense laboratories and research and development centers needed to support AFCYBER. In addition, ESC offers unparalleled links to the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Information Directorate in Rome, NY, arguably the nation's leading cyber research institution.
Massachusetts and the New England region provide access to the information technology leaders working in both the defense and commercial markets that can be partners with the Air Force in developing Cyber Command's mission, including Raytheon and General Dynamics, as well as leading information security and financial firms.
Massachusettsranks first in the Milken Institute's 2008 State Technology and Science Index. The state's position in the rankings isrelated to its established strength in world-class research institutions, cutting-edge technology firms, and its ability to leverage these assets to attract and retain a skilled technology work force, which numbers 300,000. The Commonwealth has the nation's greatest academic research institutions including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and the University of Massachusetts - in addition to 164 colleges and universities in New England. Massachusetts' academic research centers and information technology industry cluster offer the Air Force instant access to cyber technology expertise.
A recent study conducted for MassDevelopment by the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute estimates the state's defense economy is $14.7 billion, and some 2,435 Massachusetts companies received federal contracts for defense-related goods and services in FY 2005. These contracts supported 32,240 direct jobs, while defense-related activity generated an additional 39,187 jobs statewide. The dollar value of the contracts plus salaries paid to in-state military personnel and retirees was $9.2 billion and generated an additional $5.5 billion in related economic activity, for a total of $14.7 billion in direct and indirect spending.
This summer, Air Force officials will arrange site visits to all states that submitted a proposal, and four finalists will be selected sometime this fall. A final decision is expected by spring of 2009.