The Destin Log: Gaetz has vision for technology park outside gates of Eglin AFB

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

SANDESTIN (The Destin Log) January 30, 2020 — A proposed $400 million Eglin Air Force Base research facility could become the catalyst for a “Futures Park,” combining military, contractor and education facilities just outside the gates of the base.

“Futures Park,” a vision of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., whose district includes Eglin Air Force Base and a number of other military installations, was outlined briefly Thursday by retired Air Force Capt. Nathan Nelson, Gaetz’s director of military affairs.

“We want to shine a great big spotlight on Northwest Florida,” said Nelson, who was among the speakers on the opening day of the Defense Leadership Forum’s 2020 Air Force Contracting Summit. Now in its seventh, and largest year at the Sandestin Hilton resort, the conference brings together hundreds of contractors, large and small, with military contracting officers.

The proposed Eglin research facility, dubbed the Weapons Technology Integration Capability, is in line for the 2022 federal procurement process. As that process moves forward, with the sobering recognition that $400 million is a large request for military construction funding, Gaetz and his office have been talking up the “Futures Park” as a way to leverage that investment.

Read the full story by Jim Thompson here.