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Following Hurricane Michael, Rubio & Colleagues Urge POTUS To Commit To Full Recovery of Tyndall Air Force Base
Marianna, FL – Today, U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Representative Neal Dunn (R-FL) requested President Trump affirm his commitment to rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base, which was critically impacted as a result of major Hurricane Michael. Last week, Senators Rubio, Nelson and Representative Dunn urged the Department of Defense to expedite the repair, and restoration, of Tyndall Air Force Base.
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear President Trump,
We write on behalf of the people of Florida requesting your commitment to rebuild Tyndall Air Force base after the catastrophic damage caused by Hurricane Michael. Tyndall Air Force base is one of the most critical installations in the United States. It is imperative we rapidly repair and restore operations as quickly as possible in order to protect and promote U.S. national security interests.
Since its opening on December 7, 1941, Tyndall Air Force base has served as fertile ground in the training of America’s Airmen. Today it is home to the aviators and maintainers of our nation’s premier air-to-air fighter jet–the F-22 Raptor. Furthermore, the base is home to the 601st Air Operations Center which is the frontline defense against threats to the homeland and the first responder for aerial relief operations following disasters such as Hurricane Michael.
Tyndall Air Force Base’s proximity to the vast Eastern Gulf Training and Test Range, perfect conditions for year-round flight operations, and access to a large community of skilled laborers is critical to our nation’s overall military readiness. Last week we sent a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Staff of the Air Force urging them to move quickly to assess damages, repair infrastructure, and restore operations as quickly as possible.
As Florida rebuilds from the destruction of Hurricane Michael, we are requesting your commitment in moving quickly to bringing the thousands of devoted service members and civilians back to Tyndall Air Force Base. They must continue to train and project unrivaled combat air power. We are committed to the base’s full recovery and are ready to work with you to achieve that goal.
Timeline of Rubio Actions Related to Hurricane Michael:
- Rubio urged Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to assist Florida schools affected by Hurricane Michael, particularly, by quickly approving Project SERV applications, which are critical to recovery efforts.
- On October 15, 2018, Senators Rubio and Nelson, with members of the Florida delegation, sent a letter urging FEMA Administrator Brock Long to approve Florida Governor Rick Scott’s request to initiate the Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) program for the remaining 13 counties impacted by Hurricane Michael.
- On October 12, 2018, Rubio surveyed the damage caused by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle.
- On October 12, 2018, Rubio and Nelson with Rep. Neal Dunn urged Secretary Wilson and General Goldfein to expedite repair and restoration operations at Tyndall Air Force Base, which was critically impacted during Hurricane Michael.
- On October 11,2018, Rubio and Nelson urged Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert Wilkie to authorize increased outreach efforts and benefits assistance for Florida veterans impacted by Hurricane Michael.
- On October 11, 2018, FEMA Administrator Brock Long briefed Rubio on damage caused by Hurricane Michael.
- On October 10, 2018, ahead of Hurricane Michael’s landfall, Rubio urged Attorney General Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Charles Rettig to assist communities affected by the storm.
- On October 10, 2018, following Hurricane Michael’s landfall, Rubio, Nelson and Florida Representatives urged President Donald Trump to approve Florida’s request for a major disaster declaration. Today, the President approved the State of Florida’s major disaster declaration.
- On October 9, 2018, Rubio joined Senator Nelson and Florida Representatives in urging President Trump to approve Florida Governor Rick Scott’s request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration ahead of Hurricane Michael.