The Clay County Development Authority has been awarded a $729,000 grant from the Florida Defense Support Task Force, Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday. The funding will allow Florida National Guard officials to install an airspace control system and a mass notification system at Camp Blanding Joint Training Center.
"We’ll continue to make critical investments that support our military and keep jobs here in the Sunshine State," Scott said in a statement.
"This large award will immediately enhance Camp Blanding’s airspace control capability while preserving defense industry jobs, and add needed economic infusion into Clay and Bradford counties," state Rep. Charles Van Zant said. "In addition, the long-term effect will provide a broader, more secured posture when Florida’s Military Bases are reviewed during the upcoming Department of Defense national re-alignment and base closure considerations. Congratulations to the Clay County Development Authority."
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.
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, the 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.