FORT GORDON (WJBF)- Gov. Nathan Deal and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle received a mission briefing at the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon Tuesday. They then addressed the press and reaffirmed their commitment to cyber initiatives in the CSRA. The visit comes weeks after Deal announced a plan for a $50 million Cyber Training and Innovation Center in downtown Augusta, Ga.
Gov. Nathan Deal is working to make Georgia “The Silicon Valley of the South” with Augusta as an central player. He says the decision to build the Georgia Cyber Training and Innovation Center in downtown Augusta will further solidify the state’s reputation as a tech hub.
“Fort Gordon has been the home to several cyber entities that work together for several very different missions sometimes,” Deal said. “And so too will the new cyber innovation and training center that I announced in my State of the State address this year.”
The Department of Defense and the National Security Agency, which already employ thousands at Fort Gordon, are part of the development of the project, which is projected to cost around $50 million.
The facility would be owned by the state, but would work to develop and promote cybersecurity initiatives for the public and private sectors.
“It’s designed to promote and to train individuals in this very important skill set,” Deal said.
The government has already poured in $180 million into the Cyber Command Headquarters at Fort Gordon, and in total, the Defense Department plans to invest billions in Fort Gordon to make it the home base of the nation’s cyber soldiers.
Deal says those projects are in various stages of development, but we will be seeing the effects soon.
“That’s going to occur over the next three years, thereabouts,” he said.
The Georgia Cyber Training and Innovation Center is slated to open in about two years.
“For the governor to have that sort of vision and be able to put the resources behind it, he understands fully how important Fort Gordon is to Augusta, and how important the cyber command at Fort Gordon is to this country,” said Dr. Brooks Keel, president of Augusta University.
The Georgia General Assembly will be considering Gov. Deal’s proposed $50 million for the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in the current legislative session.