About 525 personnel, primarily pilots and maintainers, attached to three units previously assigned to Tyndall AFB will be reporting to work at Eglin AFB, located about 70 miles west on the Florida Panhandle, over the next four months. The personnel are assigned to the 43rd Fighter Squadron, which trains F-22 pilots; the 372nd Training Squadron’s Detachment 4, which provides F-22 maintenance training; and the 2nd Fighter Squadron, which flies the T-38 Talon and provides air-to-air combat training. But officials are contemplating moving a total of 800 personnel through next summer to Eglin as part of the transition triggered after Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall last month. The three units are expected to remain at Eglin for the foreseeable future.
It’s not yet clear what the ultimate impact will be for Eglin’s host community, reports the Panama City News Herald. Some of the personnel moving to Eglin may opt to remain in the Panama City area, Eglin spokesman Andy Bourland said. Installation officials are talking to local school districts and real estate agents about the potential impacts resulting from hundreds of additional families moving to the area.
Last week, six F-22 Raptors from Tyndall AFB’s 325th Fighter Wing arrived at Eglin, the first of 31 of Tyndall’s stealth fighters expected to move there.
Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Schultze