Defense Sector

Defense sector initiatives in Massachusetts

Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force

Overview and History

The Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force was created in 2012 to protect and expand missions, jobs, and economic investments at and surrounding Massachusetts' military installations. Housed within the Office of the Governor and supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force coordinates among the state's military facilities to maximize their efficiency.


Massachusetts Military Installations

Massachusetts is home to six military installations with more than $13.2 billion in total economic activity and support for more than 57,600 jobs.

Barnes Air National Guard Base, located in Westfield at the Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport, hosts the 104th Fighter Wing and Army rotary wing assets. The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable tactical fighter that provides 24-hour protection for the northeastern United States. The Air National Guard maintains Barnes’ highly-trained, well-equipped, and motivated military force to provide combat-ready F-15 aircraft and support elements in response to wartime and peacetime tasking under state and federal authorities.

Fort Devens, located in Ayer, Devens, Harvard, and Lancaster, provides training facilities and training support to enhance the readiness of reserve component units in New England. Fort Devens supports civilians and military personnel from the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, National Guard, FBI, and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, and at least 35 tenants at the reserve forces training area support nearly 3,000 personnel. 

Hanscom Air Force Base occupies 846 acres within Bedford, Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln and is adjacent to L.G. Hanscom Field, a Massachusetts Port Authority owned and operated civil airport that serves as a corporate reliever for Boston Logan International Airport. While both facilities share the “Hanscom” name, it is important to note that the base and the field are two separate entities. Hanscom AFB is home to the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Digital and Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, and Networks Directorates, along with the 66th Air Base Group; the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center’s Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Integration Directorate; the Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory; and the Lantern: Hanscom Collaboration and Innovation Center. The Program Executive Office for Presidential & Executive Airlift headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, also has a significant presence at Hanscom AFB.

Joint Base Cape Cod, located on 22,000 acres within Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, and Sandwich, is home to five military commands, including the Massachusetts Army National Guard at Camp Edwards; the Massachusetts Air National Guard at Otis Air National Guard Base; the 253rd Combat Communications Group, also at Otis Air National Guard Base; the 6th Space Warning Squadron phased array radar site at Cape Cod Air Force Station; and the U.S. Coast Guard at Air Station Cape Cod. These military commands work to protect the land, sea, and air of the northeastern United States. 

Natick Soldier Systems Center, known as Natick Labs, is the U.S. Army’s center for soldier-related research and development. The installation is responsible for technology research and development; engineering; field-testing; and systems to support soldiers in combat, including human-systems integration, food, clothing, and shelter. The NSSC also has specialized expertise in parachute design and airdrop systems. 

Westover Air Reserve Base, in Chicopee, is a joint-use military and civilian airport which hosts the 439th Airlift Wing and supports the mission of the C-5M Galaxy and civilian aviation activities. Strategically located in the northeast in close proximity to Europe and NATO alliances, the Base has played a prominent role in every major contingency requiring strategic airlift. It is the nation’s largest Air Reserve Base in area, and supports reservists from 34 states who travel to Westover to serve in the Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine Reserve units.

Task Force




Massachusetts Innovation Bridge

Created in partnership with the Commonwealth and MITRE, the Massachusetts Innovation Bridge connects local businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutions with federal opportunities. Through the Innovation Bridge, federal agencies will create new relationships with academic institutions, thought leaders, established companies, and with companies that previously did not work with the federal government. Together, they will discover new ideas, products, and services to enhance federal agency missions. The collaborative workspace will also give Massachusetts companies, higher education institutions, and nonprofits access to new federal business opportunities.


Executive Director

John C. Beatty has served as the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force Executive Director since June 2016. A native of South Boston, Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Beatty graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and was commissioned into the U.S. Army Field Artillery. During his 23 years of military service he led a range of diverse organizations, commanding units in Germany and Kosovo and deploying twice to the Middle East. In 2008, Mr. Beatty served as the Deputy Director for the Governance, Reconstruction and Economic Development Cell for Multi-National Division Baghdad, leading an effort to further an independent, self-governing Iraq. In his capstone assignment as the Inspector General for the Maine National Guard, Mr. Beatty provided policy advice and counsel to three adjutants General while serving the Soldiers, Airmen, and self-less civilians of the Maine National Guard and Department of Veterans services and Emergency Management.