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Story Behind the Products: Florida Veterans Continue to Serve to Preserve Our Freedom

By FloridaMakes Network posted 07-02-2020 12:00 AM


Pilot getting into an aircraft.

On July 4, 1776, America’s Founding Fathers adopted the Declaration of Independence. Today, Americans continue to recognize our independence and show gratitude for the freedoms we have. As we remember this day, we honor the sacrifices the men and women in our armed forces have made and continue to make to give our country freedom. Some of them call Florida home and have been able to transfer the valuable skills and experience form their military service to our workforce.

Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE), located in Jacksonville, Florida, is an example of a manufacturer that is reaping the benefits of employing veterans. Sixty percent of their workforce are veterans! FRCSE is one of the eight regional support centers in the U.S. for Naval Aviation and is a military organization with uniformed military personnel, federal civilians, and contract personnel. The Center provides critical tools that our country’s warfighters need to execute their mission and works on restoring airplanes and their engines, components, and weapon systems, in order to return them to service. They have worked on airplanes such as the F/A-18 Super Hornet and the F/A-18 Hornet, T-6 and T-44 trainers, SH-60 and HH-60 Helicopters, plus a variety of engines. Additionally, their future workload is projected to include the F-35 Lightning II, the F-5 Tiger II (as seen below), and the P-8A Poseidon.

F-18 Aircraft

Aircraft Engines

“Fleet Readiness Center Southeast is able to impact the defense of the United States through extending the service life of aircraft, in addition to providing flight line support for operational squadrons and repair of components that are needed to make military aircraft fully mission capable,” said Tony Casullo, Public Affairs Officer at FRCSE. “The military would not be able to do their job in service to our country without FRCSE doing theirs.” He then explained that FRCSE’s mission is to ensure that the military has the tools it needs to protect the people in our nation and our principles. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the world to stop, Casullo explained that they continue to operate and provide our nation’s warfighters with what they need to maintain our freedom, stability, and for peace to prevail.

FRCSE emphasizes the importance of hiring veterans because veterans can bring a level of understanding to the importance of the work of the center, and they display a unique perspective on the criticality of the mission FRCSE carries out. FRCSE uses hiring protocols from the federal Office of Personnel Management to give special preference to veterans looking to join their workforce.



Casullo, coming from a military family, said “Independence Day means many things to me, but mostly it is a time to think about the principles this country was founded on 244 years ago. The principles of equality and the rights of man to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Having traveled the world as a former Navy Sailor and having seen the injustices people in other countries face every day, it is very apparent that those fundamental principles should never be taken for granted.”

As you celebrate the Fourth of July, remember the men and women who served our country to preserve our independence. In some cases, as it is for most of the employees at FRCSE, those veterans continue to contribute to it daily.

FRCSE is a member of the First Coast Manufacturers Association (FCMA), part of the FloridaMakes network. For more information about FRCSE, please contact their Business Advisor, Rob Caldwell, at