Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton today announced two hirings which will further strengthen the City of Jacksonville's support for the local military. Peyton has appointed retired Navy Capt. Robert (Bob) Buehn as the new chief of the city's Military Affairs, Veterans and Disabled Services Division. In addition, R.J. Natter ;amp; Associates, LLC, led by retired Navy Adm. Robert Natter, has been selected to assist the city's military advocacy and lobbying efforts.
'The military is an integral force in Jacksonville and we are tremendously proud of the thousands of uniformed men and women who call our city home. They strengthen our economy and make Jacksonville a better place to live,' said Mayor Peyton. 'Captain Buehn has an outstanding track record of success and will ensure that our military, veterans and disabled communities are well-served. Throughout his distinguished career, he has proven exceptional leadership skills and dedication to service. We are excited to welcome him to our team.'
Buehn will replace the former division chief Dan McCarthy, who accepted a position in the State Attorney's Office. As division chief Buehn will report to the director of the Recreation and Community Services Department. As the city's primary military liaison, Buehn also will report directly to the mayor.
A career military officer who has served tours at all Jacksonville Navy bases totaling 15 years (Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Mayport Naval Station and Cecil Field), Buehn has most recently served as the Commanding Officer of the Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. He has also served in other leadership positions including Chief of Staff of the Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12 at Mayport Naval Station; Commanding Officer of the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Commanding Officer, VS-32, at NAS Cecil Field. In addition, his career includes extensive experience in aviation operations, teaching, communications and writing.
Buehn earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida and a master's degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College.
Buehn's appointment is subject to confirmation by the Jacksonville City Council.
Upon full execution of the contract, R.J. Natter ;amp; Associates, LLC will serve in an important role lobbying for the city on military issues, most importantly, the homeporting of a nuclear aircraft carrier at Mayport, Natter will work closely with the Congressional delegation and Patton Boggs, LLP, who also represents the city in Washington D.C.
Natter ;amp; Associates has advised and represented both the State of Florida and local Florida communities on military relations and advocacy. He worked statewide and in Washington on behalf of all Florida military base communities, including Jacksonville, during the recently completed two-year Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process.
'As a result of the leadership of our Congressional delegation, Admiral Natter and the efforts of our local team, no bases were closed in the 2005 BRAC process,' said Mayor Peyton. In fact, the city has actually increased its military presence and it is a top priority to ensure that we remain a key player in retaining and growing local military presence.'
Some examples of Jacksonville's unmatched military success include: the largest Navy job gainer from the BRAC process with 2,700 jobs added to local Navy bases; the re-establishment the Navy's U.S. 4th Fleet at Mayport Naval Station in 2008; the decision to assign the P-8A Poseidon aircraft to Jacksonville Naval Air Station in 2007; and the 2008 announcement by the Navy of its intention to make Mayport a nuclear-capable homeport.
In addition, the city continues to demonstrate its commitment to the military through efforts such as providing services to 200,000 veterans in Northeast Florida and hosting the largest Veterans Day Parade in Florid, the largest Memorial Wall in the U.S. outside of Washington D.C. and regular tributes and recognition events.