Gov. John Bel Edwards (La.) and Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis of the La. National Guard announced plans to establish a major cybersecurity center on the Water Campus south of downtown Baton Rouge.

There, cybersecurity professionals from the Louisiana National Guard will conduct cyber missions alongside peers from Louisiana State University’s (LSU) applied research affiliate, Stephenson Technologies Corp., and Radiance Technologies, a private defense contractor.

"The center will promote a safer cyber community in Louisiana through information sharing, training and partnering among federal and state agencies, academia and industry experts. At the new 1200 Brickyard Lane building on the Water Campus, the project will establish the secure cyber facility in Louisiana’s Capital Region, while generating dozens of new jobs and pooling the resources of the secured tenants to carry out the most sensitive cybersecurity tasks," the press release says.

“When I created the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission in 2017, we established a goal of making Louisiana a leader in this fast-growing field,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our top mission is ensuring the safety of sensitive information for Louisiana’s families, our military, our schools, our health care facilities and our private sector employers. We want everyone’s data and privacy to be safe and secure. So it’s incumbent upon us to invest in cybersecurity measures that protect our citizens from damaging attacks. Establishing this facility will provide one of the greatest tools for that safety, and it will continue our mission of becoming a global cybersecurity leader.”

Gov. Edwards and Gen. Curtis signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that applies state resources to complete the cyber center. The Louisiana National Guard, or LANG, will lease the 11,000-square-foot space directly from Commercial Properties Realty Trust, an affiliate of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation that is leading development of the Water Campus. LANG leaders plan to call the facility the Louisiana Cyber Coordination Center, or LC3, and the Guard will sublease 3,000 square feet each to LSU’s STC and to Radiance Technologies.

More than 40 LANG members periodically will use LC3 for training and real-world cybersecurity operations. Meanwhile, LSU’s STC affiliate will relocate 15 existing jobs while adding five new jobs at the cyber center, with Radiance Technologies retaining 22 existing jobs in Louisiana and adding 15 new cybersecurity jobs over the next two years: 10 at the Water Campus LC3 and five at its Louisiana Tech University location in Ruston. The new direct jobs created by LSU and Radiance will provide an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits.

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana will provide $1.5 million through Louisiana Economic Development to build-out the existing 11,000 square feet to meet strict government standards. Also through LED, $500,000 in additional funds will support lease payments for up to five years. Other partners in the project, including the Water Campus and STC, will provide up to $250,000 for facility operations.

When fully realized, the LC3 facility will support cyber-related missions at major military installations in Louisiana, such as Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center and Barksdale Air Force Base’s Global Strike Command. Once fully operational, the Water Campus site will play a key role in responding to civilian cyber attacks upon schools and government institutions, as well as private workplaces.

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