For more information about the local defense and security industry, please contact:

Steve Morey
SVP, Economic

(813) 518-2630


Tampa Bay has emerged as a driving force behind the growing convergence of defense and technology, and as a leader in the defense and security industries. Consistently ranked among the top communities for defense, Tampa Bay offers unparalleled access to top military assets, a highly-skilled talent pipeline, a strong network of existing companies, and a military-friendly business community dedicated to your success.

In addition to having one of the largest veteran workforces in the nation, Tampa Bay is home to MacDill Air Force Base, the largest employer in Hillsborough County, adding more than 15,000 highly-trained military and civilian personnel to the talent pipeline, with the skills and security clearances desired by industry employers.

MacDill AFB is the only military installation that hosts two, four-star Combatant Commands, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). Thirty-eight additional mission partners operating from MacDill AFB, as well as specialized security and intelligence firms, help to make Tampa and Hillsborough County a top market for defense contractors.

Fast Facts:

  • Military workforce of nearly 92,000
  • Nine of the top 10 U.S. defense contractors have a presence in Tampa Bay.
  • #1 Best place for veterans to live – WalletHub 2019
  • Locally, a $14 billion military industry has developed around areas such as cybersecurity and information technology, intelligence and analysis, training and simulation, and advanced manufacturing, with nascent opportunities in biotechnology and rehabilitative health.
  • Leading defense and security companies: Aero Simulation, CAE USA, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, Harris Corporation, Honeywell, L-3 Communications, Lockheed Martin, Lukos, Raytheon

“We started our business in Tampa and thanks to connection to MacDill Air Force Base and the growing technology ecosystem, we have even more opportunities to expand here.”

– Garth Arevalo, CEO of Lukos, a veteran-owned provider of professional services to the federal government

Tampa is the #10 fastest-growing large city in the U.S.


Defense & Security Overview

A deep labor pool of active military, veterans and fresh graduates make Tampa a top place for defense & security companies.  

CAE USA Breaks Ground

Leading training and simulation company CAE USA expands U.S. Headquarters in Tampa with 290,000 square-foot facility.

Investor Spotlight: ReliaQuest

Headquartered and growing in Tampa, CEO of leading cybersecurity firm ReliaQuest shares his thoughts on the area’s labor pool.