...The military activities in the region form a key part of the economy. There are 10 major bases that combined encompass about 880 square miles. That figure does not include military activities at non-DoD facilities, nor does it include the outlying fields and smaller base
operations. ...The economic impact includes military and non- military salaries, as well as dollars the bases spent for contract work, ranging from pest control to high- tech RDT&E. Many veterans of the military also chose to retire in the region. By and large, the coastal counties have larger veteran populations than the nation as a whole.
...The majority of the military activity in the region is aviation-related, though not exclusively. At Tyndall the Air Force focuses on air- dominance, and in Pensacola and Whiting Field the focus is initial air training. The Army teaches helicopter tactics at Fort Rucker, and at Keesler pilots are trained to land in urban zones. ...But just as important is the role technical training plays. Keesler is a leader in electronics training, and Corry Station is the military's primary center for cryptology. Pensacola is the home of the command that oversees all Navy training, and a site for many of the schools. The military schools, when combined with the multiple Embry-Riddle campuses in the region, provides a constant stream of graduates training in the aerospace field.