DeSantis announces funding for military communities, bases across northwest Florida

Northwest Florida

MILTON, Fla. (WKRG) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Wednesday millions of dollars in state funding aimed at protecting the military’s “mission” would go to military communities and bases across Florida.

“Today, we’re happy to announced $3.4 million to military communities and bases across the state through our defense infrastructure grant program,” DeSantis announced Wednesday in Milton.

Northwest Florida will see more than $800,000 of that money.

DeSantis said $300,000 will go to Santa Rosa County for land purchases around Naval Air Station Whiting Field. DeSantis said this money will go to provide critical buffer zones around the base. There will also be $300,000 awarded to to Escambia County for easement purchases around NAS Pensacola to “ensure operational sustainability.”

DeSantis added $90,000 would go to Okaloosa County to encourage economic diversification around Eglin Air Force Base.

He said $90,000 more will go to the Pensacola Chamber Of Commerce to “create higher skilled jobs for those in the military community as they transition from active duty.”

Santa Rosa County officials said they were thankful for the funding at a press conference.

“These grants have served to safeguard the busiest aviation complex in the world: NAS Whiting Field,” said Dave Piech, a Santa Rosa County Commissioner.

DeSantis praised Northwest Florida for its strong military roots and service members.

“We proud of doing it. We’re happy to be here with these announcements and as we look at the funding and where it would make the most sense, clearly this is one of the regions of the state where it really stands out,” DeSantis said. “We’re happy to be helpful and we know the community will make good use of it.”

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