A $1.5 million cyber security training and operations center is going inside The Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge, La., to support cyber-related missions at military installations in Louisiana and eventually respond to cyber attacks on schools, government institutions and private workplaces in the state.

The center’s long-term objective is to respond to cyber-attacks inflicted on government institutions, schools, and private companies in the Pelican State. However, its immediate purpose will be to support cyber-related missions at major military installations in Louisiana, including Barksdale Air Force Base’s Global Strike Command. 

“When I created the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission in 2017, we established a goal of making Louisiana a leader in this fast-growing field,” said Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards. “Our top mission is ensuring the safety of sensitive information for Louisiana’s families, our military, our schools, our health-care facilities, and our private-sector employers. We want everyone’s data and privacy to be safe and secure. So, it’s incumbent upon us to invest in cybersecurity measures that protect our citizens from damaging attacks. Establishing this facility will provide one of the greatest tools for that safety, and it will continue our mission of becoming a global cybersecurity leader.”

The average salary of the two operations’ employees at the site will be about $70,000.

To secure the project, the state will provide $1.5 million through Louisiana Economic Development to build-out the existing 11,000 square feet to meet strict government standards. Also through LED, $500,000 in additional funds will support lease payments for up to five years. Other partners in the project, including the Water Campus and STC, will provide up to $250,000 for facility operations.  

The Louisiana National Guard will lease 11,000 square feet of space in the Louisiana Cyber Coordination Center from Commercial Properties Realty Trust, an affiliate of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Stephenson Technologies Corp. and Radiance Technologies will sublease 3,000 square feet each from the Louisiana National Guard.