Chamber board members, Chamber staff, and area business leaders traveled to our nation's capital to participate in the annual Northwest Florida Military Fly-In. Representatives from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Bay Counties made the trek to Washington to meet with members of Congress and hear directly from military leadership about the key issues facing our Northwest Florida military bases.
The first day featured the Day on the Hill, hosted by our own Congressman Matt Gaetz. Day one featured presentations on Special Operations Forces and Military Readiness, next year's defense budget, and Next Generation Aircraft and Hypersonics. Two additional Florida Congressmen, Representative Michael Waltz (R-Boyton Beach) and Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami), addressed attendees providing their perspectives on the future of the military in Florida.
Day Two featured presentations from representatives from The Pentagon and the armed forces. Presentations included an update on Global Naval Operations and the importance of keeping the military testing ranges in the Gulf of Mexico. Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Navy James Balocki also provided his outlook for naval installations and facilities.
The fly-in also provided the opportunity for representatives of the five counties to share best practices and discuss ways that Northwest Florida can work together to expand military missions in our area.