The Commissioners for the Mississippi State Port Authority (MSPA) have entered into a lease agreement with Ocean Aero, Inc. for the construction, testing, and demonstration of Autonomous Underwater and Surface Vehicles (AUSVs) at the Port of Gulfport on the East Pier.
This announcement comes as the company prepares to transfer their manufacturing operations and headquarters from San Diego, CA to Gulfport, MS.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ocean Aero to the Port of Gulfport, and showcase to the world that Mississippi is truly at the forefront of maritime innovation,” MSPA Board President EJ Roberts. “Through our partnership with the University of Southern Mississippi, we have merged research and infrastructure to create an environment that is attracting some of the brightest minds and newest technologies to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
Ocean Aero will occupy 67,000 square feet of warehouse space on the Port of Gulfport’s East Pier and is expected to create 45 new jobs by the end of 2021. The lease between the Port and Ocean Aero is for an initial 10-year term and provides for two five-year extensions, with the new space being fully operational by early 2022.
“We’re very proud of our recent technical achievements and growing customer support and look forward to continuing to innovate with all of our constituents into the future,” said Ocean Aero CEO Kevin Decker. “Along with our partners at the University of Southern Mississippi and the Port of Gulfport, we are building a world-class collaboration of leaders. Without this tremendous Mississippi community, we wouldn’t be as successful today.”
The state’s leading economic and community development agency, Mississippi Development Authority (MDA), as well as the Harrison County Development Commission and Mississippi Power were instrumental in discussions to solidify Ocean Aero’s relocation to Mississippi. Additionally, MDA has announced it will provide assistance for equipment relocation and workforce training.
Ocean Aero’s applications span defense, offshore commercial, and research industries. The company’s AUSVs are currently deployed with the US Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, offshore energy companies, and others.
The AUSVs provide a unique capability to monitor the world’s oceans and critical off-shore infrastructure.
For more information about Ocean Aero, visit www.oceanaero.com.