Lawmakers attend FISTA ribbon cutting ceremony

Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 7:03 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - Today was a big day for Lawton, as politicians from across the State came down to celebrate the grand opening of FISTA.

“It’s a great day for the City of Lawton and for South West Oklahoma, it is the culmination of a lot of hard work and energy by a lot of folks,” said Brace.

Many lawmakers and city officials gathered in Lawton for the opening of the Fires Innovation Science and Technology Accelerator also known as FISTA.

FISTA Vice-Chair Mark Brace said this building will house defense contractors from across the country working towards military advancement.

“The idea is that we provide a place where defense contractors come work together, develop technologies, they accelerate those technologies so they’ll be bringing in bright people from all over to do that,” he said.

Brace said a variety of things will be done at FISTA including cyber research, programming, and integration development.

“These are going to be high-tech jobs, particularly revolving around the defense industry,” said Brace.

During the ceremony, several politicians were in attendance such as U-S Senators Markwayne Mullin and James Lankford, and Representatives Tom Cole and Frank Lucas.

Governor Kevin Stitt also spoke during the ceremony and said the state awarded $20 million in ARPA funding to build STEM labs and another project to provide students grades 3rd to 12th the opportunity for hands-on projects to interact with the military.

He refers to FISTA as a “generational investment.”

“When we are aligning our education community to support this industry, it just all works together,” said Stitt.

Governor Stitt said this is a way to continue making our military stronger.

Representative Cole said this is opening new doors for Lawton.

“That’s now attracted state and federal support and private sector investments, so you see it happening and you will see the job creation that comes with it,” said Cole.

FISTA officials said not all parts will be open to the public and will require a security clearance.