NAPLES, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that $400,000 has been awarded through the Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program to three projects to protect military installations across the state. This year, awards were given to the Gulf Coast State College, InDyne, Inc., and the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance. Florida’s military installations contribute more than $79.8 billion in economic impact, and the defense industry supports more than 774,000 jobs in Florida.
Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce $400,000 in Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants to help protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military installations. Florida is the most military-friendly state in the nation and this funding supports our military and thousands of families that have jobs across the state thanks to Florida defense communities. We will continue to do all we can to recognize and support the many brave military men and women, and their families, whose service and sacrifice keeps our country safe.”
Grant funding will support community projects at Florida military installations that will diversify the local economy, provide support for local infrastructure projects and strengthen Florida’s bases ahead of any potential Department of Defense realignment or closure actions. For more information on the individual grant award for projects throughout the state, see below:
Bay County: $30,000 in Defense Grants
$30,000 was awarded to Gulf Coast State College to identify Air Force community partnership initiatives that will benefit Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), Bay County, and the State of Florida. Gulf Coast State College has been involved in community growth opportunities over the past 60 years and will work to support the continued enhancement, growth, and success of our military installations and community.
Florida Defense Support Task Force member and project sponsor Tom Neubauer said, “Tyndall Air Force Base, Bay County, and the State of Florida greatly benefit from the input and best practices provided by community partnerships like the one with Gulf Coast State College. The work of the Task Force and the continued support from Governor Scott and leaders in Tallahassee are crucial in continuing to protect these missions.”
Okaloosa and Franklin Counties: $235,000 in Defense Grants
$235,000 was awarded to Indyne, Inc. to develop a Systems Engineering Management Plan to support military operations in the Carrabelle, Florida area. InDyne’s current project will enhance the 96th Test Wing’s competitiveness within the U.S. Air Force. This will help accelerate projects meant to protect Eglin’s core missions associated with research and development to support next generation air operations.
Maj Gen Jeff Reimer (USAF Retired), former Air Armament Center Commander and Chief Operating Officer of InDyne, said, “By funding this project, the Florida Defense Support Task Force is directly supporting preservation and enhancement of the research and development mission of Air Armament Enterprise at Eglin AFB and is helping to position the U.S. Air Force for continued air dominance. Florida will be helping to arm and protect those who protect the United States. This is just one more example of a Community Partnership between the State of Florida and the Department of the Air Force which benefits both parties.”
Hillsborough County: $135,000 in Defense Grants
$135,000 was awarded to the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance (TBDA) to address challenges impacting the military value of the installation, such as potential encroachment, education, and transportation, and build community support. The TBDA has developed outreach programs to increase awareness of the mission of MacDill Air Force Base to effectively support operations.
Lisa Monnet, President of the Tampa Bay Defense Alliance, said, "Through the award of this tremendous grant, Tampa Bay will continue its mission to promote a collaborative and engaged environment that vigorously supports a robust and growing defense community. The Task Force and Governor Scott have been instrumental in supporting the MacDill community and Tampa Bay is proud to be part of the most military-friendly state in the nation.”