Advertise for a specialist in defence technology in Florida and you do not have to look far. The state's big military aviation installations - which include Eglin AFB, MacDill AFB in Tampa, the Naval Aviation depot at Jacksonville and Pensacola Naval Air Station - make it a honeypot for defence contractors, for whom former military men and women provide a ready supply of recruits.

In total, 67,000 military personnel and almost 30,000 civilian workers are employed in the state's five naval air stations and four air force bases, and, according to investment agency Enterprise Florida, those retiring from the forces are one of Florida's biggest assets when it comes to attracting defence suppliers, particularly to the north-west and north-east of the state.

"Since former military personnel often choose to remain in the area after being decommissioned, aerospace companies have an almost inexhaustible supply of workers with some of the most advanced engineering and technical skills in the world," says Enterprise Florida.

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Source: Flight International