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Governor’s Office of Military Affairs releases plan to grow Mississippi’s defense economy



Tate Reeves
Gov. Tate Reeves signs emergency declaration, March 14, 2020. (Photo via MS Governor's office)
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The Governor’s Office of Military Affairs (GOMA) and the Mississippi Defense Initiative (MDI) at the University of Southern Mississippi have announced plans to strengthen and grow Mississippi’s defense economy in the recently released The Future Fight: Mississippi’s Defense Economy Strategic Plan.

“Mississippi is proud to be a leader in the defense industry. This new strategic plan is about laying the foundation for our state to compete for new and relevant defense investment. We want our research centers to develop military technologies, our manufacturing sector to produce them, and our military installations to deploy them. Mississippi and our economic engine stand ready to support our military in any way we can,” stated Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves.

The plan was developed to capitalize on trends in national defense and the security arena and presents an economic and community development approach to growing the defense industry and strengthening defense communities. Partners around the state have already begun implementing plans that will foster more cooperation in defense-focused communities and aid in capturing more defense projects.

“Mississippi is committed to supporting our military communities across the state. With our exceptional military assets, Mississippi is well-positioned to be a key factor in our country’s defense plans,” stated MDA Deputy Executive Director Laura Hipp.

The strategy was primarily authored by GOMA and MDI; however, stakeholders from across academia; local, state and federal government, defense-related industries; all branches of the military; and others assisted with shaping and focusing the effort and will add to the success of the plan moving forward.

“Mississippi’s defense economy is a pivotal factor in our overall state economy, with 6.5 percent of our GDP coming from defense. To ensure continued growth in this sector, we must continue our state’s effort within the National Defense Strategy by continued investment in emerging technologies within our university research institutions that support our diverse defense sectors and work with military installations within Mississippi to improve the quality of life for service members and their families,” stated Haimes A. Kilgore, Program Director, MDI

The Future Fight has three significant areas of recommendations to improve the state’s approach to the defense industry. Under the plan, the state will continue to build up communities with military installations, market the state to defense-related industries and focus on systems that encourage veteran employment.

To view the plan, visit:

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