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Air Force Urged to Put Electronic Warfare Wing at Massachusetts’ Hanscom Air Force Base

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As the U.S. Air Force looks to up its game against high-tech global threats, a coalition of Bay State lawmakers says it wants Massachusetts to be on the front lines.

They’re calling for the Air Force to locate its new Information Dominance Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, about 21 miles from Boston.

In a Monday letter to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall III and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Wayne Allvin, the lawmakers urged the service branch’s senior leaders to “fully take into account the existing mission at [the base], and the innovation ecosystem centered in Massachusetts.”

That includes the Bay State’s “vast network of academic institutions, federally funded research and development centers (FFRDC), and cutting edge private sector research and development,” the letter, exclusively obtained by MassLive, and led by Democratic U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, reads.

All nine Democratic members of Massachusetts’ U.S. House delegation also are signatories to the letter, which stresses the “opportunities for innovation partnerships [that] exist in Massachusetts.”

The new center is part of a “sweeping [plan],” as both the Air Force and Space Force look toward “reshaping, refocusing, and re-optimizing” their missions in an “era of Great Power Competition,” the Air Force said in a Feb. 12 statement.

The new Information Dominance Systems Center will have a broad mandate that includes “cyber, electronic warfare, digital infrastructure, and more,” according to Air & Space Forces Magazine, a defense journal.

Plans call for the new center to be up and running by mid-to-late 2025, the magazine reported, citing a spokesperson.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Luke C.G. Cropsey, “or his successor as the Department of the Air Force’s top command, control, and communications/battle management officer,” will helm the new center, the magazine reported.

The suburban Boston base has become a hub of high-tech development. It’s slated, for instance, to be the home of a new semiconductor lab that’s currently on track to be finished by October 2026, MassLive previously reported.

In their letter to the Air Force, the Massachusetts lawmakers said they appreciated the U.S. Defense Department’s prior “investments in Hanscom and the surrounding community.”

Russ Kelly, a spokesperson for the 66 Air Base Group at Hanscom, told MassLive that “the Air Force will follow the established basing process to determine the best location for the Air Force Information Dominance Systems Center.”

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit masslive.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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