As the state’s newly formed Defense Support Task Force tries to preserve Florida’s military base allocations in the face of looming federal cuts, Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Destin, has taken Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to task for the way she’s performed her role as liaison with the military, the Northwest Florida Daily News reports.
“Frankly, I think the lieutenant governor has been hesitant to engage in effective lobbying in Washington on Eglin issues,” Gaetz said.
The pressing issue is the possibility that Eglin Air Force Base’s 46th Test Wing could be put under the command of a two-star general at California’s Edwards Air Force Base. Local officials fear that would lead to the test wing’s valuable research, development, testing and evaluation component being shipped out west.
According to task force chairman David Goetsch, the Air Force has mostly ignored its requests for information about the consolidation and for justification for the proposed changes. “So far the Air Force has just thumbed its nose at all of us,” Goetsch said.