Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday announced more than $3 million in defense funding, including two awards for Santa Rosa County.
Santa Rosa County will receive $483,000 for and $120,000 to assess 5G services and implementation, as well as to establish a resiliency scorecard for military-community initiatives that enhance and protect military missions.
“I am proud to continue making investments in Florida’s military communities and upholding my administration’s commitment to keeping Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation,” said Governor DeSantis. “In Florida, we value those who protect and serve our nation and the sacrifices that their families make. That is why we work to provide tangible support that enhances the lives and communities of service members for generations to come.”
“The Florida Defense Support Task Force is dedicated to ensuring Florida’s military communities support the mission of our state’s installations,” said Colonel Terrance McCaffrey, Vice President of Military and Defense Programs at Enterprise Florida. “These grants ensure those missions are protected and also afford local and state governments the opportunity to partner with them to help them thrive.”
A total of $1.6 million in funding is awarded through the Defense Infrastructure Grant Program to the following:
- Clay County Development Authority ($500,000) – to modernize outdated and substandard marshalling and maintenance facilities at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center to ensure deploying equipment is fully mission capable and to enable the installation to perform deployment and redeployment operations.
- City of Jacksonville ($500,000) – to jointly acquire restrictive use easements of properties in the Military Influence Zone at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.
- Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners ($483,000) – to continue restrictive-use easement property purchases around Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field to ensure operational sustainability.
- City of Tampa ($117,000) – to complete road improvements that will reduce traffic congestion for vehicles entering MacDill Air Force Base and improve traffic flow, reduce commute times, improve delivery schedules, and reduce emissions.
A total of $800,000 in funding is awarded through the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program to the following:
- Bay Defense Alliance ($125,000) – to continue Hurricane Michael rebuilding efforts and assist Tyndall Air Force Base and Naval Support Activity Panama City with community support and partnerships as the base implements new aircraft programs.
- Greater Pensacola Chamber of Commerce ($125,000) – to partner with the West Florida Defense Alliance to develop relationships with local contractors and community organizations to streamline contract execution, whereby increasing the number of defense-related jobs in the region.
- One Okaloosa Economic Development Council ($125,000) – to perform community-based activities to sustain existing military installations and diversify a defense-dependent community.
- Santa Rosa Board of County Commissioners ($120,000) – to assess 5G services and implementation, as well as to establish a resiliency scorecard for military-community initiatives that enhance and protect military missions.
- Clay County Economic Development Corporation ($118,000) – to leverage funds in order to create major job centers for high-wage job creation to diversify the defense dependent community and protect Camp Blanding as a vital community asset.
- Orlando Economic Partnership ($107,800) – to support growth of the modeling and simulation industry in the Central Florida Region, which is made up of military, educational, and business leaders.
- Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast ($79,200) – to increase outreach efforts by directly supporting the Hiring Our Heroes program, Vet Florida SkillBridge program, and Space Coast Salutes our Military website engagement.