Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Florida gears up to protect bases

Six people from Northwest Florida will join six other military and civic leaders from elsewhere in the state to serve on the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The panel, created by legislation sponsored by Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, will advocate for Florida's bases and missions, including high-tech research and development, at a time of Pentagon belt-tightening and the threat of another base realignment and closure commission. The defense industry is Florida's third largest job producer. There are 21 military bases and missions, bringing $58 billion into the economy every year. In Gaetz's district, base personnel and contracts tied to five installations pump $14.5 billion of economic activity into the region. A $5 million appropriation will help fund research and advocacy on behalf of the uniformed and civilian jobs tied to the state’s bases. (Source: Press release, Sen. Don Gaetz, 11/08/11)