Allen encouraged by work at Fort Gordon, wants to improve educational opportunities

Augusta Chronicle
Jozsef Papp

Rep. Rick Allen stopped by Fort Gordon on Thursday and was encouraged by the cyber work being done for national security. 

During his visit, Allen described the Cyber Center of Excellence as the most important thing going on in the 12th district of Georgia. He said Congress needs to get to work to ensure it is properly funded and their needs are met. 

“We are in the appropriations process right now in Congress. There are needs here, but the good news is we are right on target, we have the new facility, we got people in place,” he said. “Overall, I’m very pleased with where we are based on my fourth term in Congress versus my first term in Congress.” 

'An essential mission'

Allen said he expects 4,000 people to move to the area in the next five years with the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon.

He credits the work Fort Gordon and the military have done to move to Augusta and up their game in the cyberspace, which he considers one of the most important areas of defense and a growing area of concern. 

“It’s critical. This is absolutely an essential mission,” Allen said. “The information flow in and out of this place basically covers the entire world and directs how we go about dealing with our adversaries and it’s absolutely critical to the success of our military.” 

Increasing education opportunities for students to enter the cyber workforce is a priority for Allen. He plans to meet with local community leaders to figure out ways to improve infrastructure and education being offered to those interested in a career in cyber. Allen suggested having a charter cyber school in Richmond County.  

There is already a program in place within Richmond County schools that allows students to enter the cyber workforce after high school, but Allen would like to expand on that because the need for people is growing and changing every day. 

Third congressman to visit Fort Gordon

Allen is the third congressman to stop by Fort Gordon this year after Sen. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff visited the base earlier this year. Allen said he would like to spend some time talking to the senators about military funding and ensuring Fort Gordon and military bases across the state are being taken care of. 

He hasn’t spoken to them about it but feels they are on board in making sure the military is taken care of. He is concerned about people in Congress using the military to get things they want elsewhere. 

“We need to quit holding up through these continuing resolutions and things like that and creating problems for our essential needs in this country. We can take those other things that are not essential and we can set them aside and fight over those until Christmas,” Allen said. 


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