A number of important missions will return to Tyndall AFB over the next few months, officials said Friday as the base continues to recover from the devastation left behind after Hurricane Michael whipped through the installation Oct. 10. “By the winter holidays and in many cases well before, we expect all our airmen — military and civilians — to have certainty about their options, so that everyone is either on a path or already settled,” Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in a written statement. All but 500 of the airmen assigned to Tyndall are expected to return to the Florida Panhandle within one to three months. Tyndall has a total population of 11,000, including active-duty personnel, civilians and family members.
At the same time, Secretary Heather Wilson broached the possibility that Tyndall’s F-22 Raptors may never return permanently to the installation, reported Military.com. “That has not been determined,” Wilson said in a conference call with reporters. While Tyndall is undergoing repairs, personnel and F-22s from the 95th Fighter Squadron — Tyndall’s operational unit of the advanced fighter aircraft — will relocate to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, and JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
The 43rd and 2nd Fighter squadrons’ F-22 fighter training and T-38 adversary training units will move operations to Eglin AFB, Fla., located 75 miles west of Tyndall. The 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 4 also will relocate with the F-22 fighter training units to Eglin.
An Air Force press release listed nine missions resuming operations at the installation between now and Jan. 1, including the 601st Air Force Operations Center, the 337th Air Control Squadron and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. The Noncommissioned Officer Academy, however, will temporarily be spread across four locations — McGhee-Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tenn.; Maxwell AFB – Gunter Annex, Ala.; Keesler AFB, Miss.; and Sheppard AFB, Texas.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Carnes