The National Security Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers broke ground today on the High Performance Computing Center-2, an NSA-run facility that will be located on base.
The project is an outgrowth of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), which the White House launched in 2008 to provide a unified approach to securing America's digital infrastructure. Scheduled for completion in 2016, the center will help to carry out the CNCI's mission by protecting national security networks and providing U.S. authorities with intelligence and warnings about cyber threats.
Dignitaries who attended the ceremony included GEN Keith B. Alexander, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command/Director, NSA/Chief, CSS; Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski; Rep. C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger; Major General Todd T. Semonite, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; COL Edward Rothstein, Garrison Commander, Fort George G. Meade; and Dr. Harvey Davis, NSA's Associate Director for Installations & Logistics.
The computing center symbolizes both the government's commitment to improving cybersecurity and the ever-changing nature of cyber threats, GEN Alexander emphasized. Like all of NSA's activities, he added, the center's work will be grounded in an adherence to the U.S. Constitution and compliance with U.S. laws and regulations that govern the Intelligence Community.
Sen. Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and senior member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, also praised the project.
"Maryland is the global epicenter of cybersecurity, leading the way in finding cyber-tech solutions that make our country safer, and creating cyber-warrior jobs that make our economy stronger," she said. "Because of Maryland's incredible federal assets, like the NSA, our dynamic private sector, and iconic academic institutions, America's cyber defense starts in Maryland. With this new state-of-the-art computing center, Maryland and the NSA will continue to protect America from cyber terrorists, spies, and thugs."
The project has been awarded to Hensel Phelps Kiewit Joint Venture. Approximately 6,000 workers across a broad range of disciplines and labor categories will be involved in the construction and development phase. The 600,000-square-foot center will include 70,000 square feet of computer space.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the construction agent responsible for handling the acquisition and contracting process, design management and review, and project management.