Santa Rosa receives $360,000 in defense grants

Special to the Press Gazette / USA TODAY NETWORK

MILTON — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference Sept. 15 in Milton that Santa Rosa County will receive a $300,000 Defense Infrastructure Grant to continue easement purchases around Naval Air Station Whiting Field to provide critical buffer zones.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state and local officials attend a press conference announcing a $360,000 grant for defense infrastructure easements Sept. 15 in Milton.

The county is also receiving a $60,000 Defense Reinvestment Grant to promote further development of Whiting Aviation Park, a 267-acre parcel located adjacent to NAS Whiting Field.

"The 'Gold Standard' or a 'Best Business Practice,' that is what you hear when people talk about the community-military partnering initiative between NAS Whiting Field and Santa Rosa County," said Dave Piech, commissioner chairman and district 4 commissioner. "It’s something to be proud of and shows the county’s commitment to our military. The grant programs that have positioned counties and municipalities to protect, enhance and further the Department of Defense's mission across this great state have been second to none."

The Defense Infrastructure Grant program has been a staple in protecting the critical mission of NAS Whiting Field. Over the years, this partnership has buffered nearly 6,000 acres and expended over $15 million in matching funds.

The Defense Reinvestment Grant has played a key role in gaining a military liaison counterpart in the county as well as programs, studies and military-community partnering projects that have enhanced overall mission capability.

The Defense Infrastructure Grant program supports local infrastructure projects deemed to have an impact on the military value of installations within the state. Infrastructure projects to be funded under this program include those related to encroachment, transportation, access to military installations, utilities, communications, housing, environment, and security.

The Defense Reinvestment Grant program provides support to community-based activities that protect existing military installations. These grants are awarded to applicants that represent a local government with a military installation that could be adversely affected by federal actions.

For more information on military community programs, visit