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Innovation Center Promises to Advance Cyber Warfare

In mid-2024, doors will open on the Madera Cyber Innovation Center, a three-story, 48,000 sq. ft. facility on the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) campus’ east side, featuring state-of-theart cyber-tech classrooms and labs as well as research and design spaces. It will allow cadets to explore advanced computer and cyber science concepts while facilitating broader collaboration in advanced technological warfare. 

Carlos Cruz-Gonzalez, director of logistics, engineering, and force protection at USAFA, shares that they made it easily accessible to the public “because we wanted academics from other institutions and industry partners to be able to reach the facility and be part of the work that will go on in the facility — both from an instructional perspective and from a research perspective.” 

The center is expected to serve more than 1,400 cadets as well military and civilian organizations, and host programs to educate cyber operators and train future Air Force and Space Force officers. Of particular value is a secure workspace where cadets can conduct coursework projects and research while operating at a higher classification level than is possible currently. Cruz-Gonzalez says that will allow their partners in USAF and Department of Defense (DOD) cyber activities to share information at the proper classification level with cadets and staff.  

Thirty million dollars of U.S. government military construction funds sponsored 33,000 sq. ft. of the project while $28 million in donations from the nonprofit Air Force Academy Foundation financed the remainder. The facility is named in honor of 1978 Academy graduate and Distinguished Alumni Award recipient Paul Madera. It is expected to open in time for the 2024 academic year, ready to employ cutting edge technologies to prepare for the future. 

Dean of the Faculty Brigadier General Linell A. Letendre states, “I’m thrilled to see the vision for the Madera Cyber Innovation Center come to life! This project embodies USAFA’s commitment to preparing future airmen and guardians for the next fight — the agile, cutting-edge infrastructure is a giant leap forward in our capability to deliver world class air, space, and cyberspace instruction.”


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