GULFPORT, Miss. (WJTV) – Ocean Aero, a manufacturer and service provider of ocean-going autonomous underwater and surface vehicles, will relocate its manufacturing operations and headquarters from San Diego to Gulfport.
The project is a $4.65 million corporate investment and will create 45 jobs.
“The state of Mississippi thanks the Ocean Aero team for choosing to bring these exciting manufacturing operations to Mississippi. I remain firmly focused on the development of our maritime industry and blue economy and am glad to welcome Ocean Aero to the Gulf Coast. Every day, invaluable research is conducted in the waters off of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, helping grow our blue economy while providing exciting, high-tech jobs for many in our state. The company’s easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, along with our research-intensive universities and strong business climate, position the company for many years of success in Gulfport,” said Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.).
The company’s AUSVs are currently deployed by the U.S. Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Homeland Security, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and offshore energy companies.
“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. Along with our partners at the University of Southern Mississippi, the growing Gulf Blue ecosystem, and the Port of Gulfport, we are building a world-class collaboration of leaders. We’d like to thank our friends at the Harrison County Development Commission, the Mississippi Power Company, the Mississippi Development Authority, and of course Governor Tate Reeves for his tireless efforts, as well as special thanks to Senator Hyde-Smith for her early championship for Ocean Aero, and Senator Wicker for his continued advocacy and support. Without this tremendous Mississippi community, we wouldn’t be as successful today,” said Ocean Aero CEO Kevin Decker.
The Mississippi Development Authority is providing assistance for equipment relocation and workforce training. Ocean Aero plans to fill the 45 new jobs by the end of this year.