Senator Doug Broxson (R, Pensacola) and Representative Mel Ponder, (R, Destin) filed resolutions to extend the current moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico east of the Military Mission Line.
“Our economy in Northwest Florida is anchored by the presence of our military. But more importantly, their mission to protect and defend both our homeland and our friends around the world also starts right here. We all want to see a broadened economic base, but never at the expense of this commitment of our military,” stated Senator Broxson, adding “The Gulf range is the center piece of the military’s strategic mission, and we must send a strong message to Congress that Florida is undivided on this issue.”
According to Broxson, testing and training activities conducted from Florida’s 14 air and sea bases are considerably dependent on unconstrained access to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico airspace and sea space, and the GOMEX Range Complex is a unique national resource. It is larger than all other training ranges inside the continental United States combined, stretching from the Florida Panhandle, south to Key West, and encompassing the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Surrounding the GOMEX Range Complex are numerous United States Department of Defense installations, ranges, and airspaces, which make the complex unique.
“The military mission is critical to Northwest Florida and Florida overall. Unrestricted access to the GOMEX Range Complex plays a vital role in much of Florida’s economic prosperity. The preservation of Northwest Florida’s military infrastructure is essential to military readiness and is a priority asset for military training, testing, and development,” Representative Ponder said, adding, “National security and peacekeeping efforts are fortified by America’s military supremacy, which serves as an effective deterrent to adversaries and requires a degree of specialized training for which the GOMEX Range Complex is crucial.”