Military Defense Has A Strong Influence In Greater Tampa Bay - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Military Defense Has A Strong Influence In Greater Tampa Bay

Military Defense Has A Strong Influence In Greater Tampa Bay

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MacDill in Tampa is a magnet for Tampa Bay’s strong defense industry

It may come as a surprise that the Greater Tampa Bay area is home to many defense companies and a strong defense industry. There is a long history in national defense here, with roots dating back to Civil War times.

GTB has been a key contributor in both the nation’s military history and modern developments in defense. From the outpost of Tampa’s Fort Brooke to the batteries of St. Pete’s Fort De Soto, all the way to MacDill Air Force Base, the military has a strong influence upon the GTB community.

MacDill Air Force Base

MacDill AFB has been operating out of South Tampa since 1939. It was an important base during World War II and served as a training ground and POW detention center. Two Hollywood films were shot there as well, both in 1943.

Today, this massive, cutting-edge military installation is one of the best of its kind. It is a significant draw behind the influx of defense contractors that have made a home in GTB.

Defense contractors are a major local employer. So is MacDill Tampa: It is the single largest employer in Hillsborough County, with around 15,000 people.

Defense Companies Located in GTB

  • Raytheon Technologies — Tampa, St. Pete, Largo
    • One of the country’s top defense contractors, responsible for everything from drones to satellites to aircraft engines.
  • Lockheed Martin — Tampa
    • In addition to its defense business, Lockheed Martin is also one of the largest contractors for NASA.
  • GE Aviation — Pinellas Park
    • There from the very beginning, this company has been working in the aerospace industry since 1903.
  • Northrop Grumman — Tampa
    • Northrop Grumman most recently helped design and manufacture one of NASA’s latest projects, the James Webb Space Telescope.
  • General Dynamics — Tampa, St. Pete
    • This Fortune 500 company produces jets, submarines and tanks.
  • Other GTB-based defense companies include Lukos, Aero Simulation and FLYMOTION.

Size, Scope and Support for Defense

CAE USA, a defense simulation company, has been one of the latest to expand in the area. A 300,000-square-foot facility housing more than 100 new employees is set to be completed in 2022. This is in addition to its current headcount of 500, who have worked out of CAE’s first Tampa location for the last 40 years.

See Also

St. Petersburg’s Innovation District brings the defense industry, academia and government entities together at the Maritime and Defense Technology Hub. This hub has special features catered to this unique industry, including rooms designed for secure communications, port accessible workspaces and wet/chemical laboratories.

GTB’s Defense Industry by the Numbers

In the modern age, defense has become a diverse and nuanced profession. Cybersecurity, software engineering and biotechnology make up an increasing majority of job fields in the industry.

By Ryan Walsh.

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