Current News and Information



NEW 2013 HAAS Center Florida Defense Factbook and Florida Defense Industry Economic Impact Analysis are available
Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Defense Grants have been awarded

2012 Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Proclamation from Governor Rick Scott


The Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) announced that its Director and CEO, Dr. Kenneth M. Ford, has been named by the US Department of Defense to serve on the prestigious Defense Science Board. Reporting directly to the US Secretary of Defense, the 32- member Defense Science Board is comprised of nationally recognized leaders and experts selected on the basis of their preeminence in the fields of science, technology and its application to military operations, research, engineering, manufacturing, and acquisition process.


Administration Releases FY13 Defense Budget

On February 13, 2012, President Obama rolled out his $3.8 trillion budget plan. The election-year budget proposes cuts to defense funding, but an increase in education, highways and bridges, and manufacturing research funding. It contains tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans and corporations, sparking immediate push-back from Congressional Republicans who have criticized the President’s budget as overtly political in nature and aimed at pleasing key voting blocs. The administration’s budget has almost no chance of passing in its current form, and Congress will likely be forced to pass a long-term continuing resolution.


GOP presses Obama to help avoid defense cuts

Republicans pleaded with President Barack Obama on Thursday to negotiate with Congress to avert automatic, across-the-board military cuts that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has warned would be devastating.

The reductions — $50 billion in the first year and $492 billion over a decade — won’t kick in until January 2013, but lawmakers argued that Congress and the Obama administration can’t wait months to deal with the issue and leave it to a lame-duck session in December. Jobs are at stake as well as long-term Pentagon contracts, they said.


Governor Scott Awards 2011-12 Defense Grants

10/3/2011 Miramar Beach, Fla. – Today, while addressing Gulf Power’s Annual Economic Symposium in Northwest Florida, Governor Rick Scott announced nearly $2.5 million in defense grants to local communities and organizations which support Florida military installations. These funds will continue to enhance and maintain Florida’s reputation as the most military friendly state in the Nation. Of the 20 grants announced today, four will benefit Northwest Florida.

“I am proud that Florida continues to support our military bases, military service members and their families, and the defense industry through the defense grant programs,” said Governor Rick Scott. “Additionally, these programs work to protect a $65 billion economic impact, and the over 686,181 direct and indirect jobs, which the defense industry annually infuses into Florida.”


Gates: Strategy Changes Could Cut DoD Purchasing

Paring the types of missions conducted by the U.S. military could reduce weapon purchases over the next decade, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

"Obviously, if you change strategies or missions, that has implications for the amount of equipment that you buy," Gates told reporters May 18. "I would expect that to apply across the board."

Gates revealed details about the DoD review of missions and capabilities ordered up last month by President Barack Obama to shape a $400 billion, 12-year cut to security spending.

"If we're going to reduce the resources of the size of the U.S. military, people need to make conscious choices about what the implications of that are for the security of the country as well as for the operations that we have around the world," Gates said.


Deadline nears for new military homestead tax exemption

Military personnel who have been deployed in the last year have until June 1 to apply for an additional homestead property tax exemption.

They probably will have a good deal longer than that, but that isn’t official yet.

For the time being, Okaloosa County Property Appraiser Pete Smith said he is trying to find those who are eligible so they can make the June 1 deadline.


Policy Bill Would Tighten Up Requirements for Non-BRAC Realignments

A loophole allowing the Defense Department to bypass statutory requirements to notify Congress when realigning a mission outside of a BRAC round would be eliminated, under a provision in the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill approved last week by the House Armed Services Committee.
The section amends 10 U.S.C. Sec. 2687, a rarely used statute allowing base closures and realignments to be carried out when a BRAC round is not in force. Section 2687 requires the defense secretary to give Congress 60 days to review proposed actions meeting certain thresholds:

  • closure of an installation at which at least 300 civilian personnel are authorized; or
  • a realignment involving a reduction by more than 1,000 — or by more than 50 percent — in the number of civilians authorized at the installation.

The statute exempts, however, “a reduction in force resulting from workload adjustments, reduced personnel or funding levels, skill imbalances, or other similar causes” from the definition of a realignment. If the department were considering a realignment above the 1,000-worker threshold, for example, it might be able to sidestep the statute’s notification requirements by first reducing the workforce below 1,000 civilians, and then realigning the remaining activity.


U.S. CNO: Carrier Move to Fla. Still a Priority

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The transfer of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier from its current base in Norfolk, Va., to Mayport, Fla., remains a top priority for Adm. Gary Roughead, the chief of naval operations (CNO) said here May 12.
"I need to do what's best for the Navy," Roughead told reporters after speaking at the AFCEA/U.S. Naval Institute joint warfare conference. The strategic advantage of having two carrier bases on the East Coast is too important, he stressed.

Pressed by a reporter about the "emotional" responses of some Tidewater-region residents to the loss of the carrier, Roughead declared he needed to be unemotional about the matter.

"For me, it's purely a strategic issue," he said. "I'm obliged to do what's in best interests of the nation."


House Armed Services Committee Authorizes Defense Spending Bill for FY 2012

The House Armed Services Committee approved on Thursday the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2012, a spending measure that clears the Pentagon and Energy Department to spend nearly $700 billion next fiscal year. After a marathon markup session beginning Wednesday and spanning early into Thursday, the panel approved a baseline Pentagon spending level of $553 billion, matching the Obama administration's request. The bill also authorized $18 billion for national security programs at the Energy Department and $118 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Supporting Military Families and Let’s Move!

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama announced new collaborations to support our military families and ensure that everyone can get out and get moving.

Starting June 1, service members and their families will be able to visit the websites of the organizations to sign up for free sportsclub memberships and personal training.

The International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), an organization whose membership consists of sportsclubs throughout the nation, will work with its members to offer free memberships to immediate family members (ages 13 and older, where applicable) of actively deployed reservists and National Guard members.


Lawmakers Rally behind Successful Operation to Raid bin Laden Compound

President Obama announced Sunday night that U.S. forces had raided a Pakistani mansion and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. Hiding only 35 miles from Pakistan's capital of Islamabad, bin Laden met his demise 10 years after the 9/11 attacks in a firefight with a small team of U.S. forces that launched a daring raid on the compound where he was holed up with some trusted advisers.


Eglin engineering group wins two environmental awards

EGLIN AFB — Years of work have paid off for the 96th Civil Engineer Group with two environmental awards from the Secretary of Defense.

Eglin Air Force Base won the 2011 Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards for Cultural Resources Management and for Natural Resources Conservation.  Eglin officials will receive the award in June at a ceremony at the Pentagon.


In Deficit Reduction Speech, President Obama Details Defense Cuts

In a speech Wednesday held at George Washington University, President Barack Obama urged the Department of Defense to lead a "fundamental review" of U.S. military missions and capabilities in a bid to cut $400 billion over 10 years. The goal will be to hold growth in the defense base budget below inflation, which would save $400 billion by 2023, according to the White House. This deficit reduction effort is in addition to the savings generated from ramping-down overseas contingency operations, the White House said. Obama’s announcement Wednesday amounts to an abrupt doubling in proposed spending cuts just two months after he proposed his fiscal 2012 budget, which has yet to be acted on by Congress.



“In August 2009, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a settlement agreement setting a firm schedule to federally promulgate numeric nutrient criteria for Florida. Today EPA released those criteria.


More F-22 details emerge    

08/03/2010 © Panama City News Herald (FL)

Rep. Allen Boyd thanked Bay Defense Alliance officials and area leaders Monday for their efforts in securing a new operational F-22 squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, as the congressman discussed additional details of the new mission.  Meeting at the Bay County Commission headquarters, Boyd said that, in addition to the 589 military and civil service personnel associated with the new F-22 squadron, there also could be an influx of defense contractors and construction projects … Bay County Economic Development Alliance executive director Janet Watermeier said the timing of the news, combined with the number of personnel and possible contractors coming with the new F-22 squadron, would offset the negative economic impact related to the F-15 drawdown.




























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ERAU Grant Opportunities Update-November 11, 2010

E-Florida Vets News-November 2010

E-Florida Vets News-October 2010

E-Florida Vets News-August 2010

Florida Defense Contracts Monitor-July 2010

E-Florida Vets News-July 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update-July 14, 2010

E-Florida Vets News-June 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update June 30, 2010

Florida Defense Contracts Monitor-June 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update June 23, 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update June 9, 2010

Florida Defense Contracts Monitor-May 2010

E-Florida Vets News- May 2010

Mission Sustainment Quarterly Newsletter-Spring 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update-April 16, 2010

E-Florida Vets News-April 2010

Florida Defense Contractos Monitor-March 2010

E-Florida Vet News-March 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update-March 5, 2010

Florida Defense Contractos Monitor-February 2010

E-Florida Vet News-February 2010

Florida Defense Contractos Monitor-January 2010

ERAU Grant Opportunities Update-January 27, 2010

e-Florida Vets News-January 2010








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