Military Impact

Our military bases have made Northwest Florida a research, development, manufacturing and assembly hub for the aerospace, defense, communications and tech industries. With 6 military installations in the region, your business can benefit from the impact the military has on Northwest Florida.

There are numerous defense contractors in the area; a plethora of R&D conducted and partners to help commercialize it; and consistent development of a highly-skilled workforce. Your business has a talent pool of more than 130,000 former military-trained personnel in the region and 3,000 service members that separate each year.

Northwest Florida is a national center for military aviation, research, and technology. Defense activities totaled more than $22 billion, which accounts for 33% of the region’s economy. Specialized needs draw suppliers and innovation. We sit in one of the most active air traffic zones in the world, and we are home to the world’s largest Air Force Base and the Cradle of Naval Aviation.

The region's military influence is not only apparent in the highly skilled and dedicated workforce, but in the communities where military families raise their children and contribute their time to volunteer service.

  • $22.6 billion regional impact, representing 33% of the region’s economy
  • $9 billion+ in direct defense spending
  • 56,070 military and civilian personal on our 6 military bases
  • 194,847 direct and indirect jobs
  • 130,000+ former military personnel
  •  3,000 active-duty military separate each year

Specific to the US Air Force*:

  • Florida has the highest number of transitioning USAF members in the country
  • Of those transitioning, 71% are in Northwest Florida
  • The majority of transitioning military possess Secret or Top Secret Security Clearances
  • Transferable technical skill sets include engineering, aircraft maintenance, flight crew & ops support, network operations, logistics, HVAC maintenance, cyber, computer systems and medical. They also have the soft skills employers need such as professionalism, punctuality, leadership and dedication.

*Source: EDC of Okaloosa County

Learn more about our military assets »

Infrastructure Map

Northwest Florida Military Installations


Total County Impact

($ in millions)


Bay County

Escambia County

Okaloosa County

Santa Rosa County














Capital Investment






Economic Impact






Direct Defense Spending ($ in millions)













Pensions and Transfers






Total Defense Spending






Source: Enterprise Florida: Florida Defense Fact Book, Jan. 2020



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