Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center in Mississippi will offer open source training and Linux certification for military personnel and civilians in groundbreaking new program.
Open source software, which has become increasingly common throughout the US military from unmanned drones to desktops, has now been enlisted as a career option for military personnel. In September, Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will open a Linux certification academy, marking the first time such a training program has been hosted on a military base.
The Mississippi installation, which is already a training hub for all branches of the military, hopes to ramp up to four to six classes, processing 50 to 75 military and civilian students per month.
The training academy will fall under the auspices of the Open Technology Center, a joint agency nonprofit research entity whose mission is to support national security objectives by facilitating the development and implementation of open source software technologies for public and private sector entities.
The academy is part of a broader effort to ramp up the IT skills of current military personnel as well as those transitioning out of the services, center director John Weathersby told InformationWeek in a phone call. Weathersby, who lives near Camp Shelby, has been a consultant on a variety of federal, military, and homeland security initiatives for nearly 15 years. "We've got to make sure people are trained, as the military is downsizing," he said, noting that the commercial sector has rapidly embraced open source, such as the Linux operating system.
The Open Technology Center's primary mission, Weathersby explained, is to research and develop open source software technologies that support national security objectives. This will not only aid defense and industry partners around the country, he added, but it will attract new jobs and opportunities to locate at Camp Shelby.