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Rubio Joins Florida Delegation In Urging Secretary Mattis To Restore Tyndall Air Force Base Following Hurricane Michael

Oct 29, 2018 | Press Releases

Miami, FL – Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and the entire Florida congressional delegation wrote to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in support of Tyndall Air Force Base after it was devastated by Hurricane Michael. The letter requests Secretary Mattis make available 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. Last week, Senator Rubio spoke with Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, and conveyed his support for Tyndall’s full recovery.  
In addition to Rubio, the letter was signed by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Representatives Neal Dunn (R-FL), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), John Rutherford (R-FL), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), Thomas Rooney (R-FL), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Francis Rooney (R-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Daniel Webster (R-FL), ), Darren Soto (D-FL), and Val Demings (D-FL).
The full text of the letter is below.
Dear Secretary Mattis:
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.
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. 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.
Timeline of Rubio Actions Related to Hurricane Michael:

  • On October 26, 2018, Senators Rubio, and Nelson were joined by Representatives Dunn, Gaetz, and Lawson in requesting FEMA Administrator Brock Long quickly approve the State of Florida’s request for direct housing assistance for areas hit by Hurricane Michael.
  • On October 24, 2018, Senator Rubio, Nelson were joined by Representatives Dunn, Gaetz, and Lawson in urging Secretary Ross to approve the Governor’s request for a federal fishery resource disaster declaration due to Hurricane Michael’s impacts on the Florida Panhandle and its fishing communities.
  • On October 22, 2018, Rubio urged Secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, to repair and restore the F-22 Raptors damaged in Hurricane Michael to mission capable status as soon as possible.
  • On October 22, 2018, Rubio encouraged FEMA Administrator Brock Long to implement recommendations outlined in a report by the Office of Inspector General in order to help Florida repair and rebuild from the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael, and future storms.
  • On October 16, 2018, Rubio urged Secretaries Carson, Mnuchin, and Director Mulvaney to provide federal relief for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Michael.
  • On October 16, 2018, Rubio met with Franklin County and Gulf County officials to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts after Hurricane Michael.     
  • On October 15, 2018, Rubio surveyed the damage caused by Hurricane Michael and met with local officials in Marianna Florida.
  • On October 15, 2018, 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 urgedAttorney 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.