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A new commander is tapped to lead Space Florida

In 2006, three of Florida’s existing state space entities combined to form Space Florida as a independent special district and innovation connector.

A recently retired commander of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Launch Delta 30 and Western Launch and Test Range at Vandenberg Space Force Base, was selected Monday by the Space Florida Board of Directors to become the agency’s president and CEO.

Col. Rob Long and the agency still need to work out a salary and other terms of employment.

Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, who chairs the Space Florida board, described Long as “very enthusiastic, very energetic, very passionate about the future of Space Florida.”

Long will replace Frank DiBello, who stepped down from his $325,000-a-year position on June 30. DiBello had run the agency since 2009.

The board last month interviewed Long, Space Force Maj. Gen. John Olson, an assistant to the chief of space operations at the Pentagon, and former Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority Executive Director Dale Nash.

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