Tyndall was wiped out by Hurricane Michael
As the Panhandle and the Big Bend continue to recover from Hurricane Michael, Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson–and U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, R-Fla., called on the U.S. Department of Defense to help repair and restore Tyndall Air Force Base which was hit hard by the storm.
The senators and Dunn sent a letter to U.S. Air Force Sec. Heather Wilson and to Air Force Gen. David Goldfein, the chief of staff of the Air Force, urging them to focus on restoring the base and stressing the important role it plays in national security.
“We write regarding the devastating impacts caused by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base. The base serves a critical role in protecting and promoting U.S. national security interests and it is vital that we rapidly repair infrastructure and restore operations in the wake of the storm,” they wrote on Friday. “As the training home of the F-22 Raptor–our nation’s premier air-to-air fighter jet—Tyndall AFB ensures our air dominance. The aviators and maintainers stationed at the 325th Fighter Wing are among the best in the world in owning the high ground. Additionally, the 601st Air Operations Center serves as the frontline defense against threats to the homeland and conducts critical relief operations following disasters such as Hurricane Michael. Tyndall is home to these and additional units critical to our national security, and we need them back there as soon as possible.
“Each of us stand ready to work with the Air Force to rebuild Tyndall AFB and advocate for the resources needed to do so. As the Air Force conducts its damage assessment, we request consistent, immediate, and detailed communication of the funding and support needed to repair infrastructure, restore operations and provide for local service members, civilians and their families,” they added. “Working together, Tyndall will be rebuilt and return stronger than ever, allowing its tenant units to resume their missions from one of the premier Air Force Bases in the world.
“Tyndall AFB is home to some of our nation’s most important training and operational missions, not to mention thousands of devoted service members and civilians. We are committed to its full recovery and we look forward to working with you to achieve that goal,” they wrote in conclusion.