New Communications Center Sets Springfield Up for Future Jobs

May 22--Military leaders said the new Hobson Cyberspace Communications Complex at the Springfield Air National Guard Base puts Springfield in position for new jobs for years to come.

"It sets us up for future missions, for futuristic type jobs that we can't even imagine today," Adj. Gen. Deborah Ashenhurst said.

Local leaders and military personnel gathered Wednesday to dedicate the building to its namesake, former U.S. Rep. David Hobson.

The communication center will help keep Americans safe at home and overseas, Ashenhurst said.

"We wanted to recognize Congressman Hobson for all he has done to get his complex in place, but not just that, but (also for) what he has done for the National Guard for many, many years," Ashenhurst said. "To be able to honor him with this state of the art facility named after him is huge for us."

"It's an end of my influence and my career, but its a beginning of a new quality of life for people working in this facility and around this base," Hobson said.

The new facility -- which houses the Ohio Air National Guard's 251st Cyber Engineering Installation Group and 269th Combat Communications Squadron --consists of nearly 32,000 square feet of administration and training space, with an additional 15,700 square feet of supply and warehouse space for 38 full-time personnel and 174 traditional guard members.

In 2009, Hobson's last year of office, he was able to attain the funds for the $11.1 million building.

Construction started in 2011 and was completed this March.

The complex is critical to Air Force Space Command's federal mission and the Ohio National Guard's homeland security and peacetime missions supporting local, state and national response operations such as cyberspace and communications infrastructure activities, civil disturbances or natural disaster response.

The advanced technological features of the complex will significantly increase the resident units' capacity to support critical missions for command and control of cyberspace defense missions.

Hobson said he hopes to see more additions to the base in the future.

He said one project that could save the military money is an assault strip at the base, "so the C-17's and other heavy aircraft in this region within 300 or 400 miles can come here and to do an assault landing instead of going to South Carolina or going out west."

Copyright 2014 - Dayton Daily News, Ohio

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