$1.2 million grant awarded for various Florida military installation projects

camp blanding
The grant was awarded to five recipients.

The Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program on Monday awarded $1.25 million to help along five military installation projects across the state.

The grant winners include the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners, Clay County Development Authority, Polk County Board of County Commissioners, Orlando Economic Partnership and the South Florida Progress Foundation.
The funding will be used for various community support and growth projects at several Florida military installations.

“These grant awards demonstrate the state of Florida’s commitment to our defense communities,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said. “Florida continues to be the most military-friendly state in the country and supporting service members and their families is an honor and responsibility we hold high.”

In Santa Rosa County, $70,000 was awarded to develop a Career Academy Outreach for Military Children. The program is intended to share and foster career and technical education opportunities for military families.

“Santa Rosa County seeks out every opportunity to support the military mission at NAS Whiting Field as well as military installations in neighboring counties, which have a profound impact on our community,” said Santa Rosa County Board Commissioner Don Salter. “We are most appreciative of grant funding to allow us to enhance the quality of life for military families.”

In Clay County, $500,000 was awarded to buffer Camp Blanding from “incompatible land development.” Notably, Camp Blanding fosters training for over 350,000 Florida National Guard service members, active duty military members and law enforcement.

Clay County Development Authority Executive Director Josh Cockrell said the grant will “improve the quality of life for our citizens by securing a buffer from incompatible land development and encroachment.”

In Polk County, $500,000 was awarded to also help protect against encroachment at Avon Park Air Force Range.

Just north in Orange County, $110,00 was awarded to promote “growth and expansion” for the Modeling, Simulation, and Training Center. In a news release, the Governor’s Office said the funding will also go to support modeling and simulation opportunities for students from middle school through graduate schools.

“This strong support from the Florida Defense Support Task Force recognizes the outstanding track record of Team Orlando, the National Center for Simulation and the powerful economic engine that is the Modeling and Simulation industry,” said Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani.

In Miami-Dade County, $70,000 was awarded to complete a resilience assessment of military installations.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


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