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STATEWIDE — You may not immediately think of the Indiana National Guard as a source of economic growth for the state, but once you crunch the numbers, turns out the National Guard has a pretty big impact on the state’s economy.

“It works out to be about an excess of $500 million of impact to the state of Indiana to help drive the economy,” said Adj. Gen. Courtney Carr with the National Guard. “Indiana has the fourth largest Army National Guard, sixth largest overall.”

Carr sites a recent study released by the Guard. He tells Inside Indiana Business that the Indiana National Guard’s ground and air divisions employ over 16,000 Hoosiers.

“The salaries are federal salaries so it’s federal money coming into the state of Indiana in excess of $300 million,” he adds.

When you add in Indiana investment in tech over the last decade, the federal government tacks on even more money for the Indiana National Guard to maintain and develop cyber security measures. Those are developed and tested at a  full-scale Cyber Range at the Atterbury-Muscatatuck Center for Complex Operations in Butlerville.

“We have one of ten National Guard cyber defense teams headquartered in Indiana,” Carr said.  “So we have the structure here in Indiana that gives us internal capability, but we also have the asset at Muscatatuck that allows the nation to benefit from our capabilities.”

The Indiana National Guard is partner with Ivy Tech and the National Center for Complex Operations to open the Muscatatuck Cyber Academy this fall, which will bring even more high paying jobs to Indiana.