Key Industries

Aerospace & Defense

Where Innovation Knows No Bounds

With a unique and diverse concentration of defense and cybersecurity businesses, commercial aerospace companies, a skilled engineering workforce, and military bases and commands, Colorado Springs is a national epicenter for the aerospace and defense industries.

The Colorado Springs region is home to more than 240 aerospace and defense companies, and the operations of key national defense commands. Some of the world’s most advanced technologies in global positioning, cybersecurity and satellite communications are housed in Colorado Springs. These organizations both produce and attract a highly-skilled and dedicated workforce of technology and engineering experts, as well as military service members and veterans.

The aerospace, aviation and defense industry overall is Colorado Springs’ top economic engine, and the Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC is dedicated to continuing to grow the industry in our region.

Our top-secret defense and intelligence operations might be flying under the radar, but our innovation is worth noticing.

Aerospace

From satellite operations to space exploration, Colorado Springs is a global leader in aerospace education, research and innovation, making it an attractive location for leading companies in the industry. The State of Colorado has the second-largest space economy in the U.S., with more than 55,000 workers in the state’s aerospace industry alone.

In addition to the region’s major aerospace-related military commands, and private companies, Colorado Springs is also home to the Space Foundation (World Headquarters) and Discovery Center, a nonprofit leader in space awareness, education and industry events like the annual Space Symposium, the largest annual gathering of space professionals in the world.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is the lead university in the Space Education Consortium, and the United States Air Force Academy has the nation’s No. 2 aerospace engineering undergraduate program and offers majors in astronautics, space physics and interdisciplinary space operations. Both institutions are members of the Colorado Space Coalition.

Defense

Colorado Springs is well-known for its strong military presence, and a major part of these operations are focused on homeland security, defense and intelligence missions, satellite operations and cybersecurity.

Because these operations demand the most cutting-edge technology and highly-skilled workers, the region is a hotbed for innovation in technology, such as missile defense or the operation of the worldwide global positioning system (GPS) network.

Due to the highly confidential nature of much of the defense operations in Colorado Springs, cybersecurity technology and research is a major aspect of the aerospace and defense industry. To learn more about the innovations in technology and security in Colorado Springs, explore our information technology industry here.

National Commands & Operations

In addition to the five military installations in Colorado Springs, the region is home to the headquarters of numerous commands and other national defense centers, such as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), which is the only bi-national command in the world (between the U.S. and Canada) and is charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.

Additional notable commands located in Colorado Springs include the Air Force Space Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command, Missile Defense Integration & Operations Center, and the Joint Interagency Combined Space Operations Center (JICSPOC).

Military Installations

United States Air Force Academy is a top national institution that trains and educates the future leaders of the United States Air Force and conducts cutting-edge research through 20 research centers.

Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station is the nation’s premier underground command and control facility serving North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Northern Command, USSTRATCOM and other mission partner tenants.

Fort Carson Army Post is the second-largest employer in the state of Colorado, with 30,000 employees and 377,000 acres of training area. It is home to the 4th Infantry Division Headquarters and is used by all the Services for realistic combined arms training.

Peterson Air Force Base is home to the 21st Space Wing and is the Air Force’s only organization that provides missile warning and space control to combat forces and commands worldwide.

Schriever Air Force Base includes the headquarters for the 50th Space Wing, which is responsible for the operation and support of Department of Defense satellites.

Facts & Figures

$12 Billion
Annual Economic Impact
240
Aerospace and Defense Companies
5
Military Installations
105,000
Employees
$52,540
Annual Salary
53,696
Military Veterans
#2
City for Veterans Livability.com 2016
Great American Defense Community Award Winner
#4
City for Defense Jobs ClearanceJobs.com 2016

Major Employers

Ashley Cumiford Military Affairs Council and Defense Programs Coordinator (719) 884-2829 | acumiford@cscedc.com