Santa Rosa County sits in one of the most active air traffic zones in the world, surrounded by military aviation installations and growing commercial operations. The area’s proximity to military-related IT research, development and testing has created an emerging cluster of IT and aerospace companies.
It's really quite impossible to overstate the positive impact of military affairs on Santa Rosa County…and statewide. Florida's military and defense-related industries are critical to Florida's economy. The $52 billion industry is the state's third top economic sector behind tourism and agriculture; it tops the list in Santa Rosa County.
Home to Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Santa Rosa County helps make up the cradle of Naval Aviation. And, its people and influence help make this region great, strengthening an already top-notch workforce and partnering at every turn of the corner.
Whiting Field has worked closely with the community on encroachment issues, which not only strengthen our military presence but also as a portion of the Joint Land Use Plan developed will allow for compatible development adjacent to Whiting Field, enhance biodiversity and advance conservation.
The mission of NAS Whiting Field is to provide the best services and material support for the training of Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and international student aviators. The base is host to Training Air Wing Five which provides 100 percent of all Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard advanced helicopter training and 60 percent of all primary flight training. They account for over 11 percent of all Navy and Marine Corps flight hours worldwide. Over 1,200 personnel complete their essential flight training here annually.
The mission of NAS Pensacola is to provide superior training support and a quality environment to tenants, military and civilian personnel and their families.
NAS Pensacola hosts over 90 activities including the headquarters and staff of the Commander, Naval Education and Training Command; Commander, Training Air Wing Six and subordinate squadrons; Naval Aviation Schools Command; Naval Aerospace Medical Research Laboratory; Naval Air Technical Training Center; Naval Operational Medicine Institute; Naval Recruiting Orientation Unit; Naval Computer and Telecommunications Station; and the world-renowned Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. Naval Education and Training Professional Development and Training Center (NETPDTC), Saufley Field and Naval Technical Training Center (NTTC) Corry Station are tenants not located onboard NAS Pensacola main complex. Support is also provided to 27 non-defense related agencies located on Navy property including the National Park Service, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Barrancas National Cemetery (Veterans Administration), and the National Museum of Naval Aviation
The Pensacola Naval Complex in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties employs more than 16,000 military and 9,400 civilian personnel and contributes approximately $1.2 billion to the local economy annually.
The Air Force's largest base and hub of research and development, Eglin AFB is primarily noted for hosting the Air Armament Center. Eglin AFB is the largest military base in DOD with 724 square miles of land range. Eglin AFB hosts the Gulf Range Complex which is a key training location for the Air Force and the Navy due to its tremendous capabilities and solid commitment to partnering for joint training. Duke Field is located on the Eglin Reservation and is used to support Air Force and Army Ranger training. Beginning in 2010, Eglin AFB will be home to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Army 7th Special Forces Group. Eglin AFB is located in Okaloosa County.
Saufley Field is a multi-purpose facility hosting the Naval Education and Program Management Support Activity, a Federal Prison Camp, Defense Finance and Accounting Service Activity, and the Defense Activity for Nontraditional Education Support. Saufley Field is located in Escambia County.
The mission of Corry Station is to operate and administer assigned schools, which provide technical training to military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense and international military students. Corry Station operates the only cryptologic school in DOD and the Electronic Warfare Officers School for the Navy and the Air Force. Corry Station is located in Escambia County.
8th Special Operations Squadron, 716th Maintenance Squadron, and Air Force Reserve Command's 919th Special Operations Wing
Hurlburt Field's mission is to support the training and execution of worldwide special operations such as unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counter proliferation, foreign internal defense, information operations, psychological operations, civil affairs and combating terrorism. The base is home to the Special Operations Command and the 16th Special Operations Wing. Hurlburt Field is located in Okaloosa County.