TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State Guard thanks Governor DeSantis for continuing to support our soldiers’ ability to protect and defend the people of Florida from all threats to public safety. The recommended $57 million in the Focus on Florida’s Future Budget strengthens the Florida State Guard’s capacity to augment state and local agencies’ emergency and crisis response capabilities.
“Under Governor DeSantis’ leadership and resourcing prioritization, the Florida State Guard is posturing to become the nation’s premier state defense force,” said Florida State Guard Director Mark Thieme. “We continue to recruit, train, and equip Florida’s best volunteer force with mission-critical capabilities so that when called upon, we can quickly help Floridians preserve or recover their way of life as safely, efficiently, and compassionately as possible.”
Key highlights in the Governor’s budget recommendations include:
$22.5 million to support recruiting, training and readiness requirements for Florida State Guard units related to search and recovery, medical, logistics, communications, and other support functions that are needed during disaster recovery, emergency response, and humanitarian aid.
$16.8 million to provide ground, air, and maritime units with mission-essential equipment and capabilities to support public safety, search and rescue, distributed logistics, firefighting, communications, medical, cyber, and other operational support requirements across 65,000+ square miles of land and shoreline across the state.
Since the activation of the original Florida State Guard in the 1940s, Florida’s population growth paces at a 900% increase with over 21.5 million residents. As the fastest-growing state, prone to natural disasters, the need for the Florida State Guard as a critical partner in public safety and emergency response remains indisputable.