Scott Air Force Base targeted for cyber security defense

MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) — A military base in southwestern Illinois has been tagged to play an even bigger role defending the country in cyberspace.

The United States Air Force recently decided to spend $16 million to reconfigure some buildings at Scott Air Force Base to house two new cyber squadrons.

They'll help defend military and civilian networks. They'll also stage attacks on enemy networks when that's deemed necessary.

The nearly century-old base outside Mascoutah (muh-SKOO'-tuh) already has a role in cyber defense as home to the Defense Information Systems Agency. It's the Internet service provider for the military.

The new squadrons won't only solidify the base's position as a hub of cybersecurity. They'll also provide a boost to the area economy by creating 320 military and civilian jobs.