October 24, 2016


Military HQ

The new U.S. Southern Command campus will consolidate 2,300 military, civilian and contract workers.

By the end of this month, the 2,300 military, civilian and contractor employees who make up the U.S. Southern Command will move into the military's newest Florida installation, a $402-million headquarters campus in Doral.

Previously scattered over several sites in northwest Miami-Dade, the new facility brings together all the components of the joint command that oversees U.S. military missions in the Southern Hemisphere and Caribbean. The new 55-acre site has a Conference Center of the Americas for hosting representatives from 31 countries in the hemisphere, a child care center, clinic, fitness center and an operations center. There, as many as 80 people with dual computer monitors sit in rows facing a giant wall of 24 screens to run military operations, drug interdiction, relief missions such as the Haiti earthquake response this year or perhaps handle a mass migration.

The military in Miami-Dade spent $796 million in 2008 on procurement, salaries, pensions and other needs, according to the Florida Defense Alliance. The average earnings per military job was $60,500, well above the county's $43,921 median household income.

Florida, which didn't want to lose the command to other states, leased the land for free to the military. Local governments, which didn't want to lose it to other Florida bases, helped fund road construction and assist development.

Until Florida offered the land, Congress had shied away from funding the campus, raising the risk that the command could easily move from its leased facilities to another area. "It's very critical to keep Southern Command here," says Diana Gonzalez of the Miami-Dade Defense Alliance, the military-oriented economic development program of the Beacon Council.

"Its existence," says Rocky McPherson, director of Enterprise Florida's military and defense programs, "reinforces our ability to maintain cooperative relations with our Latin and South American neighbors and expand our international trade and export capability."

— Mike Vogel

Tags: Miami-Dade

Digital Access

Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single digital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.


Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Moms-to-be go the extra mile to avoid Zika. Just ask the one in the beekeeper suit.
Moms-to-be go the extra mile to avoid Zika. Just ask the one in the beekeeper suit.

Sloane Borr is pregnant and lives in the Zika zone in Miami. She wears a hazmat suit, beekeeper's hat, gloves and boots when she goes outside the house into her garden to keep herself and her baby Zika free.


Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

About voting in the November election, will you:

  • Vote by mail
  • Vote early in person
  • Will vote on election day, at my precinct
  • N/A - not voting

See Results

Ballot Box