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Rubio Welcomes Air Force Recommendation to Rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base

Dec 7, 2018 | Press Releases

Miami, FL. – Today, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) welcomed the Air Force’s recommendation that Congress use supplemental funding for rebuilding the base to prepare to receive the F-35 fighter at the north Florida installation.
Earlier today Rubio wrote an op-ed in the Panama City News-Herald urging the Department of Defense to fully rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base.
“After working closely with the U.S. Air Force to ensure Tyndall Air Force Base is fully rebuilt, the Air Force is asking Congress for the funds necessary to rebuild and receive the F-35 fighter jet. This announcement is great news not only for national security, but also for the people of Florida,” Rubio said. “I thank Secretary Wilson for her efforts, and I will continue working with my colleagues to get a disaster supplemental before the end of the year so that Tyndall and the communities in the Panhandle are fully restored in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. While Tyndall has a long road to full recovery, I am proud of what the base leadership, Air Force personnel and their families have been able to accomplish in the weeks since the storm destroyed most of the base. I remain committed to seeing that Tyndall is fully rebuilt.”
More Information On The Announcement

  • Tyndall’s access to 130,000 square miles of airspace over the Gulf of Mexico provides a capability unmatched anywhere else in the world and will allow the F-35s to utilized to its maximum potential.
  • The F-35s could be based at Tyndall beginning in 2023.
  • Basing already announced in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, Vermon, and Wisconsin will not be affected by this decision. 
  • Before the storm, Tyndall was home to the 325th Fighter Wing–comprised of two F-22 Raptor squadrons. One was operational and one was training. The base also hosts First Air Force, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.
  • More than 2,000 personnel have since returned to the base and the Air Force intends to keep the testing, air operations center, and civil engineer missions at Tyndall. The recommendation announced today only affects the operational fighter flying mission at the base. 
  • The move would provide benefits across the service’s fifth generation fighter operations. Basing F-35s at Tyndall in the wake of hurricane damage allows the Air Force to use recovery funds to re-build the base in a tailored way to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35.