UPDATE | Fort Gordon Cyber Command continues growth

Fort Gordon Cyber Command Center (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 First at Five / April 12, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- As Fort Gordon breaks ground on a new part of the Cyber Command Center, and add thousands of new jobs over the next few years, experts already in the cyber security field say there's even more coming.

They say Augusta and the rest of the region needs to market itself to the startups and tech companies to work alongside those almost five thousand workers heading to Fort Gordon over next couple years.

The world of cyber security in Augusta is in it's infancy. Only the first few bricks have been laid, to what will eventually be a home, and one day, a whole neighborhood.

"It's something that we are now just starting to take seriously," said Doug Burks, owner of Secure Onion Solutions, "Cyber is absolutely here to stay. It's not just a fad, it's not just something that's going to go away. It's not a problem that's easily solved."

Burks security company deals with serious security work, and like an onion, there are multiple layers of defense. He says the potential here is out of this world, and it is something he would have never guessed years ago growing up in Evans.

"When you consider for each of those jobs that's going to require additional healthcare workers, construction workers, teachers, you're talking about a multiplier effect of four," said Burks, "It's upwards of 20,000 news jobs in the CSRA, so it's absolutely phenomenal."

"Jobs in the cyber are typically high paying jobs, so they build the community up economically," said John Krautheim, an assistant professor of Computer Science at Augusta University.

On Friday, the university will officially declare itself a partner, with a Memorandum of Understanding, with the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence, to share resources, and help develop a workforce.

Both experts say the key here is making the area look attractive to outsiders.

"I'm fairly new to Augusta myself. I've only been here a couple of years," said Krautheim, "But it's an exciting time. One of the things that attracted me to Augusta was this growing cyber community that's being developed here."

"The home of Fort Gordon and Cyber Command really creates a center of gravity that's going to attract all these cyber security companies both established and startup companies as well," said Burks.

The first group of cyber trainees at Fort Gordon, about 20 troops according to the Public Affairs Officer, graduate from the Cyber Center in May, and the class sizes only grow from there.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

FORT GORDON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Fort Gordon's Cyber Command Center is growing, with construction beginning on a new data center.

Fort Gordon officials say the secured building will guard sensitive military information. It's one of 18 new buildings that will house around 200 students for training and cyber simulations.

Last week, the military announced the new cyber command had received its first wartime assignment fighting against ISIS, working to interrupt their communication lines.

Major General Stephen Fogarty lauded Cyber Command, saying, "A lot of the linguists and the analysts who did great work supporting the surge of Iraq and the surge in Afghanistan, this is actually where they received that."

The center will employ 4,700 people by 2019, bringing an estimated 12,000 people into Columbia County.