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Courtesy of NAWCTSD

Base commanders representing military installations throughout Florida met with Governor Rick Scott at Naval Support Activity Orlando on March 12. Demonstrating the unique partnership between the military services’ modeling and simulation agencies and the University of Central Florida, NSA Orlando Commanding Officer, Capt. Wes Naylor hosted the periodic meeting in the Partnership III Building adjacent to NSA Orlando.

Governor Rick Scott is welcomed to Orlando by Capt. Wes Naylor; Florida Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw (Florida Adjutant General): and Florida National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun.

Governor Rick Scott is welcomed to Orlando by Capt. Wes Naylor; Florida Air National Guard Maj. Gen. Emmett Titshaw (Florida Adjutant General): and Florida National Guard Maj. Gen. Michael Calhoun.

Governor Rick Scott, and the Adjutant General of Florida, Major General Emmett R. Titshaw Jr., hold base commanders meetings approximately three times a year, giving military leaders direct access to Florida’s governor and leaders from key state agencies. Each meeting is held on a different installation and covers items of interest to Florida’s military community.

During his remarks, Scott said he wants to make Florida as military friendly as possible. Reflecting upon his Navy service as an enlisted Sailor during the early 1970’s, Scott said that where he was stationed “there were signs that said ‘dogs and Sailors keep off the grass’. It was not a time that people were happy with the war (in Vietnam) or people in military service.”

Remembering that experience, the governor stated that he wants military personnel to always feel welcome in Florida. “One of the things I want to accomplish is to make Florida a place where military people want to be.” He added that if a military mission can be done in Florida, he wants it to be done in Florida. He also said that he wants military veterans to choose to move to Florida when their military service is complete.

Base commanders throughout Florida post for a group photo with Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Base commanders throughout Florida post for a group photo with Florida Governor Rick Scott.

The governor explained that periodically meeting with military leaders helps the state respond to issues. “I tell people that I can’t solve a problem that I don’t know about,” Scott said, “so if you have an issue… we have a lot of agency heads here, so whether it’s making sure military spouses can get jobs, or making sure kids can get in the right schools, dealing with encroachment issues, making sure families can get services…today is your day to tell us what we can do to solve your needs.”

Titshaw, the senior officer in the Florida National Guard echoed the governor’s sentiments as he welcomed the 11 base commanders who were attending for the first time. “This meeting gives unfettered direct access to the governor,” he said. Titshaw went on to explain that having heads of many of the States’ agencies present at the meetings enables the military to learn what services may be available to military personnel and their families, while giving state leaders a better awareness of issues that concern the military community.

Serving as the meeting’s host, Naylor took the opportunity to explain the mission of NSA Orlando, and its support for the military modeling and simulation agencies that call Orlando home. “What we do here is unique and interesting. NSA Orlando serves as the hub of the nation’s training and simulation assets. This is not only the epicenter for DOD modeling and simulation technologies, this is the world epicenter for modeling and simulation technologies,” he said.

“Basically everything that touches DOD from a modeling and simulation basic requirements and acquisition standpoint runs through these 40 acres and the adjacent land where we are in partnership with the state,” Naylor said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks at the Florida Governor's Base Commanders Meeting hosted by NSA Orlando on March 12.

Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks at the Florida Governor’s Base Commanders Meeting hosted by NSA Orlando on March 12.

Naylor highlighted the increasing capabilities that synthetic training offers, “this is the critical technology going forward for DOD because through modeling and simulation, along with the advances that have been made in conjunction with our industry partners here in Orlando, we are making training and levels of training available in the virtual space that were never before possible.”

“What underlies that is something we call the ‘Team Orlando’ concept, which is a coalition of the willing that brings together military, government, industry and academia with one purpose in mind – to advance the science of human systems interaction. There is no requirement for any of us to be involved in that it’s truly a coalition of the willing where everyone understands the purpose and we all benefit from it.”

Naylor highlighted the Partnership III venue as an example of how Team Orlando works together. “You are in a UCF state-owned building that is 50 percent occupied by DOD personnel, and 50 percent occupied by UCF Institute for Simulation and Training. We have the Navy here, the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation (PEO STRI) is here, which is why you are in a U.S. Army Room at a U.S. Navy base, inside a State of Florida Building. It is a very unique relationship.”
During his remarks, Naylor highlighted some of the more notable successes that resulted from the DOD working in partnership with the state, including the three state-owned Partnership buildings that provide space to military tenants, a new Welcome Center located just outside the main gate that provides ID Card services to military retirees, and a variety of security measures that guarantee the security for the DOD workforce.

Following Naylor’s overview of the NSA Orlando mission, senior representatives from State of Florida agencies spoke about their efforts to support military personnel and their families. The commanding officers representing most of the military installations in the state each were given time to address success stories and concerns with the group.

The governor closed by thanking the military personnel in attendance. “As governor of Florida I want to thank each one of you for your service to our country,” Scott said. “I’m very appreciative of anyone who is willing to put on the uniform and make that sacrifice for their country.”

NSA Orlando encompasses 40 acres within the Central Florida Research Park, located adjacent to the University of Central Florida.

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