The lieutenant governor announced Monday a new state office designed to attract defense industry to Indiana will be located in Bloomington and a former Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane executive would head it.
Governor Mike Pence created the Indiana Office of Defense Development through executive order on his first day in office. Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann named Monday Duane Embree, a former executive at Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane, as its director.
She also announced the office would be located in Bloomington, although officials have not finalized exactly where in Bloomington the department would be housed. Three employees will occupy the office, including the director, a communication specialist and a laison to Crane.
“Now is the time for Indiana to declare ourselves as open for military business,” Ellspermann said in a press release. “We have the defense assets, infrastructure, and a growing synergy among private business and educational institutions to market technical innovations and offer a favorable economic environment for new business and expansions. This industry also provides the high tech, high wage STEM jobs which we seek to grow in Indiana.”
Aside from luring new contractors to the state, the office aims to create new defense products and is partnering with Crane to achieve those goals.
Embree has worked as a civilian with the Navy for 35 years. The past 13 years he’s worked as as the ranking senior civilian at Crane until he retired last November.
Embree has also worked as Ivy Tech’s National Director of Military and Defense Initiatives.