Grant to Clay County Development Authority to fund Camp Blanding projects

Written by  //  November 7, 2013  //  CBJTC News

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2013) – Governor Rick Scott today announced the Clay County Development Authority has been awarded a $729,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The funding will allow Florida National Guard officials to install an airspace control system and a mass notification system at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. 

Governor Scott said, “This $729,000 investment for airspace control systems will support Camp Blanding’s Joint Training Center, which is vital for the growth of our military organizations in Florida. We’ll continue to make critical investments that support our military and keep jobs here in the Sunshine State.”  

Senator Rob Bradley said, “These grants go a long way in helping to preserve the economic impact our military bases and families have on our region. I sincerely thank the Task Force for recognizing the value of military communities like Camp Blanding and other across the state.” 

Representative Charles Van Zant said, “This large award will immediately enhance Camp Blanding’s airspace control capability while preserving defense industry jobs, and add needed economic infusion into Clay and Bradford counties.  In addition, the long term effect will provide a broader, more secured posture when Florida’s Military Bases are reviewed during the upcoming Department of Defense national re-alignment and base closure considerations. Congratulations to the Clay County Development Authority.” 

Representative Travis Cummings said, “Florida’s military installations are vital to Florida in so many ways, from defending our citizens to billions in economic impact. I applaud the Florida Defense Support Task Force for awarding these needed funds to the Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. These funds will provide important new systems for the base, allowing it to operate as effectively as possible.” 

Bill Garrison, Director of Economic Development, Clay County Development Authority said, “The Clay County Development Authority is excited to be a recipient of Florida Defense Support Task Force grants to support strategic improvements at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center. The projects funded by the grants will improve Camp Blanding’s ability to support the more than 350,000 training-days that take place at the base annually. Camp Blanding is a major training facility for Florida, and the Clay County Development Authority is proud to partner with them to enhance their ability to complete their mission, and to create more economic activity in Clay County.” 

Statewide, the Task Force awarded more than $2 million in grant initiatives to local community organizations supporting Florida military installations. These grants will be utilized to protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military missions and installations while maintaining Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the nation. 

Additionally, the grants will strengthen Florida’s military bases ahead of any potential U.S. Department of Defense realignment or closure actions. This will protect the more than $73 billion in economic impact and the nearly 760,000 jobs the defense industry infuses into Florida. 

Secretary of Commerce and president & CEO of Enterprise Florida, Gray Swoope said, “These grants are vital to our military and defense programs, and the local economies that rely on the operation of those facilities. By providing the necessary funding for the sector’s development, jobs are created and Florida’s workforce is strengthened by the skilled former military personnel who enter the employment market. Enterprise Florida, through its work with the Florida Defense Task Force, is committed to supporting our military and defense sector.” 

Background on Florida Defense Support Taskforce 

The Florida Defense Support Task Force was created in 2011 with the mission to make recommendations to preserve and protect military installations, support the state’s position in research and development related to military missions and contracting, and improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, military families, military retirees and businesses that bring military and base-related jobs to the state. 

The 2013-14 Florida Defense Support Task Force Grants have been awarded to seven worthy projects that serve to protect our military installations across the state. This year, awards were given to the National Simulation Center in Orlando, Clay County Development Authority (2 projects), City of Niceville, Greater Pensacola Chamber, Tampa Bay Defense Alliance, and the Economic Development Alliance of Bay County. 

The grant program is administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. The grants are awarded annually, on a project priority basis, to organizations and communities working to protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military installations and missions as well as improve the state’s military-friendly environment for service members, families and veterans. For more information on the Florida Defense Support Task Force visit www.eflorida.com/floridadefense

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