Cyberspace Training unit coming to Keesler AFB

By WLOX Staff

JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi will be home to the Air Force's new Undergraduate Cyberspace Training unit.

The training will include how to design, secure, assess, exploit, attack and defend various communication networks, including telephones, Internet protocol, satellite, land mobile radio, industrial control systems, integrated air defense and tactical data link.

Governor Haley Barbour and members of Mississippi's congressional delegation applauded the announcement.

"Placing the Undergraduate Cyberspace Training at Keesler expands Mississippi's already substantial role in our national defense, and carries significant potential for economic development over the long term," Gov. Barbour said. "This further expands Keesler's critical role as one of our nation's premier Air Force bases, and the budget increase for start-up plus the increase in students and instructors will be good for the Gulf Coast economy."

The Undergraduate Cyberspace Training at Keesler will start in 2010 with about 615 students. The program will also need about 60 additional, permanent instructors.

"Cyber-attacks on American security networks reveal how critical this new training at Keesler Air Force Base is to our national security. I am very pleased Keesler has been selected as the training location for the growing Air Force cyberspace mission. Keesler has a strong reputation for military technical training, and its work reflects a great deal of credit on our military, our state, and the Gulf Coast," said U.S. Senator Thad Cochran, who as ranking member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee advocated Keesler's qualifications with Air Force officials at a hearing this spring.

"This is great news for Keesler and the Coast," said U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor, whose district includes the base. "I applaud the Air Force's decision to make Kessler the centerpiece for the cyber space training mission."

The security sensitive portion of Keesler's existing training facilities will be expanded to accommodate the increase in classified training.

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