PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — One of Florida’s senators said he’s working to protect Bay County’s military bases and seeking answers on the heavily criticized American withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021.

Senator Rick Scott made the comments during a Tuesday meeting with the Bay County Chamber of Commerce.

“When I was governor, I did base commander meetings with all of our base commanders about every 120 days just to get issues so I could solve them, either state or local issues,” Senator Rick Scott said. “I’m trying to do the same thing with this, get ideas of what we need to make sure we have the best military in the world and we also continue to expand our military presence in Florida because we’re the best state for the military.”

Affordable housing and the lack of childcare at military bases were two major issues mentioned.

“Our active duty military, our veterans, and our bases need to know that we’re a military-friendly community,” Bay County Chamber of Commerce President Carol Roberts said. “We plan on keeping it that way and we plan on continuing our fight for funding and support because we recognize the economic impact of our military, not only on Bay County but for the entire state of Florida.”

Scott said one major focus is to protect the training range in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We’ve got Democrats put in the Inflation Reduction Act, which did not reduce inflation, by the way, it’s caused more inflation that they could do some renewable in the Gulf Range. We’ve got to make sure we don’t do that in a manner, hopefully not at all, but in a manner that impacts our training,” Scott said. “So that’s one thing we’re working on. On top of that, we’re working to make sure your government and military are accountable, so I’m trying to get a select committee on what happened with the Afghanistan withdrawal. On top of that, making sure their military bases have the capital they need to be able to be lethal.”

Scott said he plans to take ideas from the Panhandle back to Washington to craft legislation.