Lawmakers Vow to Rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base in Wake of Hurricane Michael Destruction
"Tyndall will be rebuilt, and it will be an example of a modern U.S. Air Force base."
After sustaining catastrophic damage at the hands of Hurricane Michael, many have expressed concern that Tyndall Air Force Base—the well-known military installation between Panama City and Mexico Beach—would go the way of Homestead Air Force Base.
After the Pentagon failed to secure funding to rebuild Homestead, which was completely devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the once booming base later reopened as a smaller Air Force Reserve base and its workforce was reassigned. Today, the fear is that Tyndall, which employs a combined military and civilian workforce of nearly 20,000, will suffer a similar fate.
Speaking to reporters at Tallahassee International Airport on Monday, Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida Senator Bill Nelson vowed that Tyndall will reopen.
"I think that fear is unfounded," Nelson said. "As a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I can say that Tyndall will be rebuilt, and it will be an example of a modern U.S. Air Force base. That is because it is critically located right next to one of our greatest national assets, the Air Force Eastern Gulf Test and Training Range, which is the largest testing and training range for the United States military in the world."
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In a letter to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Pentagon Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, Nelson along with Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Neal Dunn, expressed their support for rebuilding Tyndall.
"Each of us stands ready to work with the Air Force to rebuild Tyndall AFB and advocate for the resources needed to do so," the lawmakers reportedly wrote.
The base is home to the 325th Fighter Wing of the US Air Force and is a main training hub for F-22, F-15, and F-35A jets.
The Air Force Aid Society has established a fund for affected Airmen in the Tyndall AFB community. Learn more and donate here.