STARKE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is sending $3.4 million to military communities and bases across Florida, including $1 million for Jacksonville and Clay County, he announced in a news conference Wednesday.
The money will come from the Department of Economic Opportunity and will largely impact military bases in Northeast and Northwest Florida, he explained.
The governor made the announcement from Camp Blanding Joint Training Center in Starke, where he said nearly $1 million will go to provide a buffer area around the installation, to maintain facilities and help develop a strategic sites inventory for future development.
"We pride ourselves, in Florida, on being a very military- and veteran-friendly state," DeSantis said. "So we're proud of that. We're proud of all the people who make our communities better who have military experience."
In Jacksonville, nearly half a million dollars will go to the city to jointly acquire restrictive use easements of property in the military influence zone at NAS Jax. Another $100,000 will go toward efforts to continue shipbuilding and maintenance at NS Mayport, with the goal of bringing a nuclear aircraft carrier to the Jacksonville region, DeSantis said.
The funding is available through Defense Infrastructure Grant Program, the Defense Reinvestment Grant Program and the Florida Defense Support Task Force Grant Program, the governor said.
Established in 1939, the 73,000-acre training center provides "quality service, training areas, ranges, education facilities, simulation platforms, maintenance, and other services" to Florida's National Guard and federal, state and local agencies.
According to Camp Blanding's website, it was also used as a major U.S. Army training facility during World War II.
Recently, DeSantis has announced efforts to end Florida schools' FSA testing requirement, fines for worker vaccination mandates and the allocation of infrastructure funding.