While the Indiana National Guard’s role in support of military operations around the globe or during a state of emergency in Indiana is well-documented, its impact on the economy is not. Until now. An economic impact study, to be released later this month, shows the Guard accounts for more than 16,000 jobs statewide. Adjutant General Major General Courtney Carr says the economic impact is far-reaching. "The salaries are federal salaries, so it’s federal money coming into the state in excess of $300 million," said Carr. "Then you add exercises, spending, military construction on top of that and it turns out to be in excess of a half billion dollars of impact to the state of Indiana to help drive the economy."
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, General Carr said the Guard’s impact will likely grow with Indiana’s expanding profile as a center for the military’s efforts around cyber.
The Indiana National Guard is the fourth largest Army National Guard in the nation and the sixth largest Guard overall and General Carr says the organization is in growth mode.
Part of that growth is coming from the Guard’s support of the military’s cyber operations. The Indiana National Guard currently has Cyber Protection Team 172, one of only 11 units of its kind in the nation and is competing for one of five military Cyber Battalions. A decision on where that unit will be located is expected soon.
The Guard is also developing CyberTropolis, a live, multi-echelon, full-scale Cyber Range for training and testing at the Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations in Butlerville.
This fall, the Guard, in collaboration with the National Center for Complex Operations and Ivy Tech Community College, will open the Muscatatuck Cyber Academy. Students at the academy will graduate with a two-year cyber degree in just 11 months and officials say they can expect starting salaries of approximately $75,000 per year.