Air Force Featured Stories

Keesler AFB partners with local university to reach new heights

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Seth Haddix
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Force continuously drives to find innovative ways to modernize and improve the force. Collaboration can stem innovation and expand knowledge, creating a consistent approach of improvement and advancement.

Keesler AFB and Mississippi State University developed a partnership earlier this year to enhance cyber capabilities.

“Our goal is to share ideas and resources,” said Violet Brantley, 81st Training Group training administrator. “By working together, we can learn from each other.”

Throughout 2020, Keesler AFB and MSU have conducted multiple visits, toured the area and tested their capabilities together.

“Cyber is a very fast, evolving field, and it is extremely important to train with currency,” said David Shaw, MSU provost and executive vice president. “We strive to benefit students everywhere, so we must adapt to research findings for security.”

MSU eventually assisted the 81st TRG by collaborating to improve instruction and taught multiple cyber courses to staff.

“Sharing our knowledge can transform and develop how Keesler (AFB) trains,” Brantley said. “We strive for expertise to make our curriculum more relevant and legitimate, and MSU can help us improve.”

As for what is to come, Keesler and MSU hope to establish a Mississippi Cyber Technology Center, creating a facility for engagement and partnerships to help modernize Air Force cyber training.

“A centralized center will serve as an incubator for academia, industry and private sector development in cyber fields, while increasing the Mississippi cyber workforce,” Brantley said. “The center would not only improve our education and research capabilities, but also the community. This center would create new jobs and opportunities which can influence and grow Mississippi’s economy.”