Military annually brings $5.2 billion to Okaloosa County

Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 18:49 PM.

Nearly half the Department of Defense's spending in the state occurs in Northwest Florida, according to the Okaloosa County Economic Development Council.

Even with possible civilian employee furloughs — which the Department of Defense said won’t be as severe as anticipated — the average military salary is nearly double the state average, the EDC said.

Military and municipal partnership

With the Eglin reservation comprising nearly half the county, and the base's Military Influence Planning Area taking up nearly two-thirds of the remaining half, community leaders mindful of the military's economic contribution are careful to not infringe on its missions.

Crestview has joined eight regional municipalities, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties, and Eglin Air Force Base in the Military Sustainability Partnership, which plans strategies to enhance and support the military's Northwest Florida mission.

The Crestview City Council last month sent the state a revised comprehensive plan that, if approved, would adopt recommendations from the base's Small Area Studies report completed last fall. These include mitigating light pollution that can distract pilots' night vision, and implementing structure height restrictions within approaches to Duke Field. Limiting residential development potentially close to aircraft noise in flight corridors also is a factor.

The sound of freedom



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