Florida’s two senators and the congressman representing the area neighboring Tyndall AFB last week asked House and Senate appropriators to support the Air Force’s request for $2 billion to repair buildings that can be saved after Hurricane Michael swept through the installation in October and begin the planning necessary to rebuild other facilities. “We urge you to support the amount requested by the Air Force to fulfill immediate requirements to the sum of $2 billion,” Sens. Marco Rubio (R) and Bill Nelson (D) and Rep. Neal Dunn (R) wrote the chairman and ranking members of both chambers’ Appropriations committees.
“Half of this urgent need would allow Tyndall to salvage what buildings can be saved, make repairs, and begin the planning and design necessary to follow the military construction requirements to ensure Congress can adequately justify the funding. The other half of this amount would cover costs relating to personnel reassignments as the recovery progress continues, and the cost of sending the F-22 Raptors to other locations to ensure the Air Force mission is not impacted. This funding is needed now,” the delegation stated.
The letter highlighted the Air Force’s long-term plan to replace Tyndall’s operational F-22 unit with three F-35 squadrons starting in 2023. “Basing F-35s at Tyndall in the wake of hurricane damage allows the Air Force to use recovery funds to rebuild the base in a tailored way to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35,” the lawmakers wrote.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Carnes