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Monday July 28th 2014

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What is our strategic plan for our military bases? Task force has ideas

Gov.Rick Scott’s office release yesterday excerpts from the report produced by The Spectrum Group for the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The 991-page report cost $1.48 million. It was authorized by the state legislature by a bill sponsored by Florida Sen. Don Gaetz (R-Niceville).

The task force is charged to make recommendations to preserve and protect military installations, to support the state’s position in research and development related to or arising out of military missions and contracting, and to improve the state’s military friendly environment for service members, military dependents, military retirees and businesses that bring military and base-related jobs to the state.

Here are the goals for the local installations – which aren’t that much different than what the Greater Pensacola Area Chamber and county commissions are doing.

Under Short-Term Strategic Goals:

National Level
Corry Station — Attract more Federal cyber entities that would act as force multipliers and could benefit from co-location with current Corry Station activities.

Saufley Field – Advocate for funding to implement Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) plan. (Note: US Navy recently canceled this EUL initiative.)

State Level
Naval Air Station Pensacola –
+Establish a system to enhance air space management in Northwest Florida with guidance aimed at future growth in flight activity.
+Consider development of a more structured and robust cooperative mechanism involving the hospital, the Veterans Administration facility, and the three local hospitals, with a focus on disaster response.
+Seek new initiatives for shared functions (commercial, medical, recreation, etc.) with the communities and State through mechanisms such as enhanced-use leasing.

Naval Air Station Whiting Field –
Continue efforts to buffer training airfields from encroachment, especially at the outlying fields.

Read more: Task Force excerpts