Open Technology Center Announces Linux Training Courses at Camp Shelby

Camp Shelby joins Los Angeles, Tokyo, Barcelona as global leader in technical training
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Hattiesburg - Mississippi - US


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Aug. 13, 2014 - PRLog -- CAMP SHELBY, Miss. (August 13, 2014) - Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center will host the first Linux certification training academy on a military installation in September, offering service members and civilians the most rare and esteemed professional technical certifications available worldwide. The Mississippi National Guard installation, located just south of Hattiesburg, would join just seven other sites nationwide, including Los Angeles, Kansas City, and upstate New York, officials announced Wednesday.

Linux is a computer operating system that uses open source software development and distribution model, and runs nearly 97 percent of supercomputers in the world, including those for scientific research, military, defense intelligence, and major corporations.  In Mississippi alone, more than 50 job listings with salaries averaging $80,000 require Linux certifications.

Col. William "Brad" Smith, commander of Camp Shelby, said the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certification program was a natural fit for the Open Technology Center (OTC) and the collaborations underway between the military services, academia, and technology-driven economic development. Smith said the opening of the Open Technology Training Academy was moved up to next month from January 2015 after the Washington-based Business Executives for National Security visited Camp Shelby and called the INNOVATE Camp Shelby initiative “a realistic approach to forming the private and public sector economic development partnerships.”

"We welcome this as a great opportunity for Soldiers here in Mississippi. The IT training and professional certification program will be highly beneficial to unemployed and under-employed veterans transitioning back to the civilian workforce, enabling them to learn highly sought-after skills to succeed,” Smith said. “We also welcome this as part of our continued reinvention of Camp Shelby. The time for planning and discussion has ended. Now is the time for action."

Rebecca Brown, manager of workforce development at the South Mississippi Planning and Development District (SMPDD), said the LPI Academy would fill a major void currently in the region and state. The  SMPDD is tasked with helping business and industry locate, connect and develop the skills of the labor pool in South Mississippi.

“LPI is bringing high-caliber training in the open source software arena that people in Mississippi normally have to fly out-of-state to receive,” Brown said. “The benefits of offering this training basically down the street are immeasurable. This program is at the heart of what we're trying to do every single day.”

The training academy falls under the auspices of the Open Technology Center (, a joint agency, public-private, nonprofit research entity whose mission is to support national security objectives by facilitating the development and implementation of open source software technologies for public and private sector entities, said John Weathersby, director of the center.

Last year, Camp Shelby partnered with the Open Technology Center, a non-profit research and development entity sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and hosted by the Mississippi National Guard. The OTC’s mission is to innovate and integrate open source software technologies to benefit and be used within national defense and security organizations. Its goal is also to further the education of future American Soldiers, engineers, scientists, operators and other professionals to promote the development of the next generation of Unmanned Aerial Systems, operations and engineering development in order to provide college credits to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines for applicable military unmanned systems training.

“The Open Technology Center's primary mission is to research and develop open source software technologies that support national security objectives,” said Weathersby.  “We hope to not only serve as a resource for defense and industry partners around the country, but to also attract new jobs and opportunities to locate here at Camp Shelby. Creating and sustaining a highly skilled workforce is a critical part of making that a reality.”

Initial five-day classes will begin in September.  For more information on how to enroll in the Linux training program, visit or call 601.427.0152.

For media inquiries you may contact the following representatives:

On behalf of Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Weaver, O: 601.558.2858, C: 769.798.3461, and via e-mail:

On behalf of On behalf of Open Technology Center, John Weathersby, O: 601.818.7161 and via email:

On behalf of South Mississippi Planning and Development District, Rebecca Brown, O: 601.606.2042 and via email:

John Weathersby, Director, Open Technology Center
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Tags:Linux, Military, Training
Industry:Government, Open source
Location:Hattiesburg - Mississippi - United States
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