Sunday, December 9, 2018
F-35s eyed for Tyndall rebuild
WASHINGTON - In the wake of the devastation caused in October by Hurricane Michael to Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., the Air Force is recommending Congress use supplemental funding for rebuilding the base for up to three squadrons of F-35A fighters. The operational squadrons of F-22 Raptors formerly at Tyndall can be accommodated at bases in Alaska, Hawaii and Virginia and would allow for an increase in squadron size from 21 to 24 aircraft. If approved and funded, F-35s could be based at Tyndall in 2023. Before the storm Tyndall was home of the 325th Fighter Wing, comprised of two F-22 squadrons. One was operational, one was training. The base also hosts the 1st Air Force, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and the Air Force Civil Engineering Center. The hurricane damaged 95 percent of the buildings at Tyndall. More than 2,000 personnel have since returned. The Air Force intends to keep the testing, air operations center and civil engineering missions at Tyndall. The recommendations only affect the operational fighter flying missions at the base. (Source: Secretary of the Air Force, 12/07/18) Nearby Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center.