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

Adam Myers
Interim VP, Economic



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.

Recently, CAE USA, one of the leading training and simulation companies in the defense industry, broke ground on a new state-of-the-art U.S. headquarters located at Tampa International Airport. The nearly 300,000-square-foot facility will accommodate an additional 100 employees to CAE USA’s existing local workforce of 500 and include such roles as computer and software engineering, program management, training instructors, and corporate functions.

Over the next five years, the defense and security industry is projected to grow 11% in Hillsborough County, outpacing the Tampa MSA, state and national rates.

Fast Facts:

  • Military workforce of nearly 87,700.
  • More than 100,000 veterans live and work in the Tampa Bay market.
  • Nine of the top 10 U.S. defense contractors have a presence in Tampa Bay.
  • Tampa ranked #1 in best place for veterans to live – WalletHub 2021
  • 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, FLYMOTION, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Lukos

“We have been in the Tampa Bay area for the last 40 years… and are excited to grow and expand to a new state-of-the-art facility at the Tampa airport.  This will provide our employees a modern facility that will help us attract and retain the world-class workforce we need to develop advanced training solutions that enhance the mission readiness of the men and women in our armed forces.”

– Ray Duquette, President and General Manager, CAE USA

More than 100,000 veterans live and work in the Tampa Bay market
ACS 2019 5-Year Estimates

Tampa Bay Community Overview

Read more about the Tampa Bay community and why it’s a good fit for defense companies in this overview.  

Defense IT firm plans local expansion

Specialized IT firm for the defense sector, Atlantic Digital, announced plans to expand locally with 120 new jobs over three years.

OPSWAT Relocates HQ to Tampa

Fast-growing cybersecurity company OPSWAT relocated its corporate headquarters from San Francisco to Tampa with plans to hire 100.