Sen. Rick Scott: Hurlburt Continues as Best Place in the Nation for Air Force Special Operations Command

July 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott released the below statement on the Secretary of the Air Force’s announcement that Hurlburt Air Force Base in Okaloosa County, Florida will continue as a Special Operations Command and be home to a majority of the special operations units in the United States. This week, Senator Scott has been fighting for information from the Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall on the potential decision to move members of the Air Force Special Operations Command away from Hurlburt Field in Florida’s Panhandle. According to today’s announcement from the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, about 600 of the nearly 9,000 service members at Hurlburt will be relocated to Davis-Monthan Air Base in Arizona over the next five years to help establish the 492nd Special Operations Wing (SOW).


Senator Rick Scott said, “I’ve been fighting all week against the potential move of the Air Force Special Operations Command and asking for transparency from the Biden administration. I just got off the phone with the Secretary of the Air Force and was informed that the Air Force Special Operations Command will continue its strong presence at Hurlburt Field. The Special Operations Command has been at Hurlburt since 1990—MORE THAN 30 YEARS. It’s clearly the best place in the nation to train the most lethal military force possible, and for our military members and their families to live. The quality of life for our service members and families in Florida, especially in Okaloosa County and the Florida Panhandle, is unmatched. These communities are known for going above and beyond to support and welcome our military community, provide opportunities for their family members and ensure their children have access to the best education possible. Our service members want to be stationed in Florida, and I’ll fight like hell to make sure they don’t lose that opportunity at the whim of a political decision by the Biden administration and that Florida’s military presence continues to grow.”


As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Senator Scott has been fighting for Florida’s military community and members. These efforts build on his actions as Governor of Florida, where he worked to make Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation, and frequently held meetings with all Florida military base commanders and relevant Executive Agency leaders, bringing all stakeholders together to discuss supporting Florida’s service members and how best to support them. This led to several initiatives that helped Florida’s military community, including:

  • The Florida GI Bill, signed into law by then-Governor Scott, creating the Education Dollars for Duty (EDD) tuition assistance program for Guard soldiers and airmen. The EDD program helps make Florida the most military-friendly state in the nation by supporting service members pursuing higher education in Florida.
  • A waiver of out-of-state tuition fees for veterans, signed into law by then-Governor Scott. Waiving these fees makes it easier for returning veterans to obtain the higher education they need to re-enter Florida’s workforce and ensures that they have the education and skills required to obtain a great job in Florida.
  • A fee waiver for military veterans pursuing a professional license as they transition to the civilian workforce, championed by then-Governor Scott in 2012.
  • Expansion of open enrollment to allow parents greater school choice. This provided that preferential treatment be given to dependent children of active duty military personnel whose move resulted from military orders.
  • A waiver for the initial educator certification application and examination fees for active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces, honorably discharged veterans and spouses of service members and veterans.
  • Florida was the first state in the country to offer Medicaid waiver services to active military families deployed from another state where they were already receiving services, an initiative signed into law by then-Governor Scott in 2014.


See more of what makes Florida the most military and veteran-friendly state in the nation from the Florida Defense Task Force HERE.