October 21, 2020
Monday, November 11, 2013
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (November 6, 2013) – Governor Rick Scott today announced the Economic Development Alliance of Bay County has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force. The funding will enable construction of the high-capacity data link known as LambdaRail to connect with the military installation at Naval Support Activity Panama City. This will allow the installation to benefit from increased information technology connectivity and significantly improve its military value.
Governor Scott said, “Florida has a very advanced military sector. This $500,000 investment into Bay County will enhance Naval Support Activity Panama City and help them succeed in the state and around the nation. The Florida Defense Support Task Force works to keep vital missions here in Florida, foster positive relationships between the military and the community, and support jobs for Florida families.”
Senate President Don Gaetz said, “Florida’s Defense Support Task Force plays a critical role in furthering Florida’s status as the most military friendly state in the nation. As the sponsor of the initial Defense Support legislation and appropriations, I’m pleased to see these funds used to assist Northwest Florida communities and businesses that go the extra mile for our military members and their families.”
Representative Jimmy Patronis said, “The Florida Defense Support Task Force works to keep vital missions at Florida’s military installations as well as fostering positive relationships between the military and the local communities. These grants will help protect, preserve and enhance Florida’s military installations that generate billions of dollars for our economy as well as stable, high-paying jobs for Floridians. I applaud Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for their support of the Task Force and commitment to keeping Florida as the most military-friendly state in the nation.”
Representative Marti Coley said, “The Florida Defense Support Task Force should be commended for awarding this grant to Naval Support Activity Panama City. The connection of the LambdaRail data link was greatly needed to enhance operations at the base, and I applaud the Task Force for addressing this issue. This type of support shows our military families how important they are to the region.”
“We are very appreciative to have received this grant which will link Bay County’s military installations to cutting edge technology through Florida LambdaRail. This connection is a major first step and is critical to the continued growth throughout Bay County and the region,” said Neal Wade, Executive Director of the Economic Development Alliance of Bay County.
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.”
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.
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 (2 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, you are invited to visit www.eflorida.com/floridadefense.