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Intersection: What a stand-down in the Middle East means to Central Florida

Central Florida is home to the world’s largest cluster of simulation, modeling and training companies specializing in defense. Now that  Osama bin Laden is dead and the wars  in Iraq and Afghanistanare winding down, what’s next for this industry?

The industry likely will grow, adding valuable high-tech jobs to a state economy historically dependent on tourism, agriculture and home building, says Tom Baptiste, president and executive director of the Orlando-based National Center for Simulation. Baptiste appears this week on “Intersection.”

Budget-tightening in response to a feeble economy will make simulation an attractive, low-cost alternative to other forms of military training, he says.

“As you operate the real equipment less you’ve got to fill the gap, and simulation is one way to sustain a certain level of readiness at a lower cost,” Baptiste says.

Tune into “Intersection” online here or on WMFE 90.7 FM. The program airs Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and is re-broadcast Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. Then weigh in here at Florida Talks.

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