FORT GORDON, Ga. (WJBF) – The U.S. army is taking new steps to protect the country in cyberspace. A ground breaking was held Tuesday on a new state-of-the-art headquarters for a U.S. Army Cyber Command Complex.
The two-phase project would bring thousands of jobs and impact growth in Augusta and surrounding counties all while protecting the country’s cyberspace.
“We will integrate cyber, information operations, and electronic warfare, into one capable and ready cyber force,” said Lieutenant General Paul Nakasone, the Commanding General for the U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army.
The official groundbreaking ceremony included the Presentation of Colors and the National Anthem. Commanding General of the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, Major General John Morrison, Jr. provided the welcome.
Lt. Gen. Nakasone added, “We send a powerful message that the United States Army is ready, willing and able to defend our nation and our national interest to defeat our adversaries in the land and in cyberspace and protect the freedoms we enjoy today, tomorrow and into the future.”
Fort Gordon is already home to the Cyber Center of Excellence, a training institution for cyberspace operations. The $85 million facility will add Army Cyber Operations and Command and Control functions during phase one, set to be completed in spring of 2018.
Secretary of the Army, Eric Fanning attended the ceremony too. He told media, “We must now protect ourselves from nation states, non state actors, criminals and black hat hackers while simultaneously waging our own offensive Cyber Operations,” he said.
The completion of both buildings means 1200 employees to hire and some will come from the local communities.
Mayor Hardie Davis said Augusta’s infrastructure is ready and so is the workforce.
“The construction jobs that will take place out here will allow folks to be employed, but beyond that the workforce that we are developing in our K-12 schools and also our institutions of higher learning.”
The Army Cyber Command Complex is set to be complete and ready to put people to work in late 2020.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins