October 21, 2020
Monday, November 11, 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. (November 7, 2013) – Continuing his goal to keep Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation, Governor Rick Scott today announced that the National Center for Simulation, located at Naval Support Activity Orlando, has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The funding will reduce the risk of Team Orlando being realigned or closed.
Governor Scott said, “Team Orlando is a partnership between the military, the modeling and simulation industry and academic institutions that work to contribute to the security of the United States through modeling and simulation, human performance and training. This $350,000 grant will allow Team Orlando to implement a strategy that will strengthen and grow its modeling, simulation and training functions. Florida’s military sector is one of the best in the country and these funds will ensure we continue to be the best state in the nation for military families to live and work.”
Senator Andy Gardiner said, “The $350,000 award to the National Center for Simulation at Naval Support Activity Orlando is great for Central Florida’s military growth. Creating a plan to stabilize and strengthen Team Orlando is vital for this area and I’m excited that this community was given the funds to keep jobs and families in Florida.”
Representative Steve Precourt said, “Team Orlando is a top notch partnership in Central Florida whose work protecting and advancing the local modeling, simulation and training industry is world renowned. The $350,000 grant issued by the Florida Defense Support Task Force will help secure an action plan to guarantee this significant work continues. Safeguarding our military related service economy from the negative impacts of realignment has been a priority of the legislature, and I commend Governor Scott for taking this step in the process of ensuring our military continues to call Florida a ‘home base for business.’”
Retired Lieutenant General Thomas L. Baptiste, President/Executive Director of the National Center for Simulation said, “The Metro Orlando community appreciates the confidence and support of Governor Scott and the Florida Defense Support Task Force. Orlando’s Research Park remains the worldwide epicenter of the Modeling, Simulation & Training Industry. The acquisition commands of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and ten other federal government agencies and joint commands are all collocated in what we refer to as Team Orlando. This grant funding will match local contributions and allow community leaders to execute an action plan designed to protect, grow and enhance Team Orlando and continue to deliver cost effective training solutions to America’s warfighters.”
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, these 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 Task Force Grants
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 (two projects), City of Niceville, Greater Pensacola Chamber, Tampa Bay Defense Alliance, and the Economic Development Alliance of Bay County.
This program is administered by Enterprise Florida, Inc. on behalf of the Florida Defense Support Task Force. 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.