Last week, Air Force Space Command bid farewell to its cybersecurity role. Along with this departure comes the loss of 72 jobs in Colorado Springs.
This loss is regrettable, to be sure, but it is not so great a loss as to be felt by the community, and it is far outweighed by the gains that have accompanied the presence of the cybersecurity role during its time in town.
Years after the establishment of the role, the National Cybersecurity Center was established in Colorado Springs, and recently opened its doors on North Nevada Avenue. While the new center is not exactly what was initially envisioned, its promise to serve the community and the economy is still alive and well.
So far, benefits of the center include close partnerships with businesses, government contractors, and universities in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, with resources dedicated to workforce development, startup growth, and cybersecurity research.
Training is also provided for students and employees, preparing the next wave of cybersecurity professionals, who can register for instruction as individuals or groups representing their business.
While here, Space Command's cybersecurity role has also drawn the attention of others in the cyber business - both small contractors and industry giants. Together, corporations like these have created a booming cyber industry in Colorado Springs that, so far, shows promise of staying.
According to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, the impact of the cybersecurity role's departure is expected to be minimal. Thanks to the internet and the ability to work remotely, there is simply no need for the newly established industry to depart.
Even the loss of jobs is set to be minimalized as 150 more troops are slated to come and aid Space Command in leading the Pentagon's satellite division.
They will join the majority of airmen involved in the cybersecurity role who will remain once their leadership is transferred to Virginia.
As the cybersecurity role departs, it leaves behind a legacy of investment. That includes a coalition of contractors and the foundation of an industry that will continue to aid Colorado Springs for years to come. This foundation may still prove invaluable to the city and the community at large. A foundation that ought to be protected and preserved as the years progress. Upon its proverbial shoulders, the name of Colorado Springs will continue to shine in the tech industry, and growth and the coming future prospects are almost guaranteed.
The role Colorado Springs plays in space and satellite development is monumental, and it promises to only grow in the future. For that, we owe the men and women of Space Command our thanks.
THE GAZETTE EDITORIAL BOARD