Gov. Baker, Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force Meets with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James
August 24, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelsey Abbruzzese, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2086 & 617-448-9077
Governor Charlie Baker, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, Representatives Stephen F. Lynch, Niki Tsongas, Katherine Clark and Seth Moulton, and members of the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force on Friday welcomed Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James to Hanscom Air Force base to discuss the U.S. Air Force’s presence in the Commonwealth and to highlight the state’s ongoing efforts to promote and support key initiatives at Hanscom, including connections to academia and industry.
“The partnership between Hanscom Air Force base and many of the best academic, industrial, business and technology firms in the Commonwealth provides a key foundation for success and economic growth,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “I was pleased to join members of our Congressional delegation in welcoming Air Force Secretary James and other distinguished guests to illustrate our work in support of Hanscom’s important mission and impact here in Massachusetts.”
“Our technological innovations and partnerships with the best of the business and academic assets of Commonwealth are among the many vital ways we support the Air Force mission here and their work around the world,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “Hanscom is an asset to the Commonwealth and we look forward to our continued partnership with in their great work.”
Secretary James is the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 664,000 active duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force's annual budget of more than $139 billion. She has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector. Prior to her current position, James served as President of Science Applications International Corporation's Technical and Engineering Sector, where she was responsible for 8,700 employees and more than $2 billion in revenue.
“The innovative defense work that happens at Hanscom Air Force Base and across our Commonwealth strengthens our military and improves our national security,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren. “I’m glad to join the Governor, the congressional delegation, and the Military Task Force to welcome Secretary James to Hanscom, and I am committed to ensuring that the base has the support it needs to continue its important work.”
“Hanscom Air Force Base is the innovation, research, and cybersecurity hub of the Air Force in the 21st century,” said Sen. Ed Markey. “The research being done at Lincoln Labs and MITRE is at the heart of the Massachusetts innovation economy, creating jobs and keeping us on technology’s cutting edge. I thank Secretary James for coming to Hanscom to see first-hand this critical asset for the Air Force and the entire nation, and I look forward to working with Governor Baker and the entire Massachusetts Congressional delegation to ensure Hanscom’s continued growth in the future.”
“Our active, Guard and Reserve Air Force personnel at Hanscom AFB are a strategic element of our national security. It is important that we support their courageous service,” said U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch.
“I invited Secretary James to visit Hanscom Air Force Base so that she can have a firsthand view of the exceptional work being done at the only active duty Air Force installation in New England,” said U.S. Representative Niki Tsongas. “But, we also thought it would be important to give her a full picture of all of that this region has to offer. The Commonwealth's unparalleled academic offerings, combined with its premier high tech and defense industry clusters and federally funded research and development centers such as MIT Lincoln Labs and MITRE, create an intellectual ecosystem unlike any other in this country. The bottom line is that the Commonwealth has the best minds and talent to help the Air Force address their most pressing challenges. We are grateful Secretary James was willing to take the time to better understand how these assets and our Military Task Force are helping to support the remarkable innovation happening here and the value it is adding to the Air Force.”
“I appreciate the opportunity to meet with Secretary James at Hanscom Air Force Base and to express the importance of the partnership between the base, our state and federal government, and our communities,” said Congresswoman Clark. “Hanscom is at the center of innovation and academic talent here in Massachusetts - leading the way on technology and research. They are a vital resource to the Commonwealth and provide critical support to the mission of United States Air Force.”
“Hanscom Air Force base plays a critical role in our national security and in Massachusetts’ economy,” Moulton said. “I’m pleased Secretary James was able to see firsthand how Hanscom and our state’s business and academic communities contribute to the mission of the Air Force and our long-term defense strategy. I look forward to continuing to work with Representative Tsongas and the entire Military Task Force to ensure Hanscom remains a valued asset for years to come.”
Hanscom Air Force Base, the only active duty Air Force base in New England, is an 846-acre base located in Bedford, Lexington and Lincoln, bordering Concord. At the base, a mix of active-duty military, civilian and contractor employees develop and acquire sophisticated radar, cyber and information technology-based systems that provide critical battlefield situational awareness to U.S. warfighters. Hanscom’s mission expanded in 2013 when the Massachusetts Air and National Guard headquarters relocated their operations to the base. The Base creates more than 3,600 direct and 14,500 indirect jobs for a total of more than18,000 jobs, with a 2011 economic impact of $8.44 billion for the Commonwealth’s economy.
“The innovations at Hanscom and integration with both academia and businesses exemplify the kind of leading technology and highly-skilled workforce that we see at all six of the Commonwealth’s bases,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Marty Jones. “We appreciate Secretary James taking the time to visit the Commonwealth and see what we have to offer in Massachusetts.”
About the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force
Housed within the Office of the Governor and supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, the Task Force coordinates among the Commonwealth’s six military facilities to maximize their efficiency. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to six military installations with more than $13 billion in total economic activity and support for more than 61,000 jobs, including Hanscom Air Force Base, Natick Soldier Systems Center, Joint Base Cape Cod, Fort Devens, Westover Air Force Reserve Base and Barnes Air National Guard Base.