Skip to comments.Tyndall (AFB, Fla.) Proposes New Construction Projects Amid 2019 Spending Sprint
Posted on 08/18/2019 4:53:57 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
Officials at Tyndall AFB, Fla., on Aug. 5 sent Congress a list of projects the Air Force will tackle to rebuild the Panhandle base destroyed by Hurricane Michael last fall, the 325th Fighter Wings commander said Aug. 14.
Rebuilding about half of the buildings that were damaged is estimated to cost about $3 billion over five to seven years, the wings commander Col. Brian Laidlaw said at a Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing in the Florida Panhandle. Air Force Magazine reported in April that new military construction would cost about $2.5 billion, about half the cost of the total restoration.
Tyndall plans to spend about $650 million more on recovery and repair contracts by the end of September, Laidlaw said. He expects the base will execute more than $1 billion in contracts for supplies, repairs, utilities, and other base services in all of fiscal 2019, not including military construction projects.
With the additional money that we got during the supplemental, that enabled us to continue with that long list of projects that we had, Laidlaw told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). We had to put some on hold for a while as we waited [for] the supplemental, but we are back doing those again.
Recovery contracts are split into two categories: one group for salvageable buildings that need fixes like new roofs and windows, and another group for structures that need to be rebuilt altogether. Earlier this summer, lawmakers passed a disaster-aid supplemental spending bill that provided $1 billion in military construction funds and $670 million for operations and maintenance to cover expenses related to damages at Tyndall and Offutt AFB, Neb.
Seventy-three percent of military and civilian personnel are now back at Tyndall, or 85 percent when including associated airmen at Eglin AFB, Fla.
With the exception of our F-22 and T-38 flying operations, much of which we are conducting out of Eglin, and our Noncommissioned Officer Academy, which we plan to stand up sometime next year, we have fully resumed all of our missions at Tyndall, Laidlaw said. Some have moved back into recently repaired facilities like our air traffic control tower, our First Air Force headquarters, and our air battle manager schoolhouse. Others will continue to work in temporary, modular facilities and Sprung shelters until we rebuild their permanent structures.
He argues full recovery will mean something different to various groups on base, since some projects will be done before others.
What [the first F-35A arrival in fall 2023 is] going to do is drive a certain minimum number of military construction projects that we need to prioritize with the funding that we do get, Laidlaw said.
The Air Force is studying the environmental impact of putting three F-35A squadrons at Tyndall as well as standing up a new MQ-9 wing on base. Tyndall will likely need between 1,200 and 1,800 additional personnel to staff both the F-35 and MQ-9 programs if they are formally approved. Laidlaw said future staffing levels are still under consideration but that bringing those two platforms to the base will grow it to be larger than it was before the hurricane.
Laidlaw expects base personnel wont see much difference between operating the F-35 and its former occupant, the F-22, because both are fifth-generation fighter jets that will live at the base in large numbers.
After recently consulting with a range of stakeholders including AFWERX, one of the Air Forces innovation-focused groups, the base plans to hold its third industry day on Sept. 12 in nearby Panama City to discuss reconstruction.
If it all works out
Tyndall wont just be as good as it used to be, itll be bigger and better and more important than it was before the storm, and I think thats a very positive development for the community, Rubio said.
I had heard the damage was so bad Tyndal would be closed.
Well, now it's back! Hooray, my favorite base!
Sorry to see the F-22s go, but they're only a few minutes away at Eglin. And now Tyndall will have F-35s.
You live near?
Must be some great picture taking opportunities.
Eglin and Hulburt house the USAF Special Forces. (I think)
I enjoyed hanging out in Lower Alabama...
About a two hour drive away.
I always go there when I go to the beach.
And yes, great pictures!
Throw some up here some time :)
It’s a patriotic board.
I’d love to see some.
We’ve got plenty of bases. Seen on you’ve seen them all. Gotta admit it was nice when I was there in 74’. 2 weeks TDY.
I’m a Mexico Beach full-time resident(we’re rare) and there’s lots more to the story, but another time.
Concur, small base that can easily be absorbed by Eglin. And since the South Eastern Air Defense Sector (SEADS) was absorbed by NEADS it is not really needed.
And one flying over Panama City (?) beach:
I hope that any new Construction of Buildings is done in a way that they will be able to withstand Hurricane Winds and Storms. They should take a page out of the Buildings they built on the Air Force Base in Okinawa Japan.
This base is already busy in Eglin. The Tyndall occupancy is much larger than people think. Residing there under the guise of the Air Combat Command is:
325th Fighter Wing
First Air Force
53d Weapons Evaluation Group
Continental NORAD Region
Air Force Civil Engineer Support
and others that aren’t mentioned.
This is a lot to house at Eglin with the diversity of the base. And as it is the planned training spot for the F-35’s coming within a couple of years, and the availability of Avon Park, it will be a busy training base.
MY GOD the hurricane did a lot of damage.
You think they rebuild stronger after this, if that’s possible?
I’m no architect nor do I know much about construction!
Beautiful jets. Just beautiful.
They are beautiful, and quiet, too.
Years and years ago when I was a young airman—40 years ago?—I used to go to the beach at Tyndall when they had F-4 Phantoms (either assigned there or visiting).
Anyway, you could not sleep on the beach when they were doing touch and go’s. It was just about deafening.
F-22s are sleekly quiet. A purr almost, like an A-10.
I could sleep all day (under my handy beach umbrella) when the 22s were there...
Also, a drone wing from NV was scheduled to move in this year. Close to 5k people into the area to support.
The base beach is only open to military ID card holders, so is almost empty, evan in the afternoon, as these pictures were taken about 2:30 PM, last year, before Hurricane Michael.
Tyndall beach looking landward Northeasterly:
Southeast (towards Mexico Beach):
And South, out-to-sea:
Feb 1967...Tyndall AFB. Brand new 2/Lt, and I sign in to the orderly room on a Sunday for Weapons Controller training. Not looking forward to keeping track of all those pistols and rifles. Ha! I ask the NCO about the training. He takes me down the hall to a dark room and shows me a radar scope. “You’ll sit behind one of these and talk to pilots flying interceptors,” he said. Never had to be in Air Defense Command but loved my time in Tactical Air Command and controlling fighters in Vietnam (call sign: Portcall 24).
The repairs would cost HALF AS MUCH if they weren’t required to use ‘green building codes’...but hopefully Trump will end that crap in his next term.
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