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Military

In 1783, USS Alliance and HMS Sybil fought the last battle of the American Revolution off the shores of Cape Canaveral. From that time, through the Seminole Wars, the Civil War, World War II and the Space Race, Brevard County has played its part in the nation’s military history.

Patrick Air Force Base, located between Satellite Beach and Cocoa Beach, is home to the 45th Space Wing, which operates the Air Force’s Eastern Range and supports all its space launches, launch vehicle and spacecraft processing, global operations and other tasks.

It also has more than 30 mission partners and tenants, including the Air Force Technical Applications Center, which monitors foreign compliance with various treaties limiting nuclear testing; the 920th Rescue Wing, which provides disaster relief, search and rescue operations, and rocket launch support; and the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, which is attended by members of all the military services and has graduated more than 42,000 students since 1971. These graduates enhance mission readiness by fostering positive human relations throughout the Department of Defense.

More than 14,700 people are directly and indirectly employed by the 45th Space Wing and its mission partners, and their annual economic impact on the area is more than $1.17 billion. An additional $353 million in retired military pay is received locally.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, an operational installation of the 45th Space Wing, contains a major airfield and space launch complexes located adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. It has four active launch complexes for unmanned flights and was the site of NASA’s Mercury and Gemini launches in the early 1960s.

Brevard County’s aviation heritage actually started with the Navy, hundreds of aviators having trained for World War II action at Naval Air Station Banana River (later PAFB), Naval Air Station Melbourne and other local fields, and the Navy’s role in the community continues at the Naval Ordnance Test Unit (NOTU), which supports fleet ballistic missile development at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The U.S. Coast Guard operates Port Canaveral Station, where the cutters USCGC Confidence and USCGC Vigilant are home ported. The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment also is located at the port.