As news came that Senator Bill Nelson had taken a tour of the Tyndall Air Force Base to see the damage left at the hand of Hurricane Michael, Senator Nelson stressed the need to rebuild and restore the base.Now, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Neal Dunn are joining Senator Nelson in arguing for the same thing.
In a letter written to U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and to Air Force General David Goldfein, the Florida lawmakers ask that they focus on restoring the base because of the important role it plays in nation security.
In the letter, the sunshine state lawmakers comment that “We write regarding the devastating impacts caused by Hurricane Michael at Tyndall Air Force Base. The base serves a critical role in protecting and promoting U.S. national security interests and it is vital that we rapidly repair infrastructure and restore operations in the wake of the storm. As the training home of the F-22 Raptor–our nation’s premier air-to-air fighter jet—Tyndall AFB ensures our air dominance. The aviators and maintainers stationed at the 325th Fighter Wing are among the best in the world in owning the high ground. Additionally, the 601st Air Operations Center serves as the frontline defense against threats to the homeland and conducts critical relief operations following disasters such as Hurricane Michael. Tyndall is home to these and additional units critical to our national security, and we need them back there as soon as possible.”
They added that “Each of us stand ready to work with the Air Force to rebuild Tyndall AFB and advocate for the resources needed to do so. As the Air Force conducts its damage assessment, we request consistent, immediate, and detailed communication of the funding and support needed to repair infrastructure, restore operations and provide for local service members, civilians and their families. Working together, Tyndall will be rebuilt and return stronger than ever, allowing its tenant units to resume their missions from one of the premier Air Force Bases in the world.”
Finally, they concluded, “Tyndall AFB is home to some of our nation’s most important training and operational missions, not to mention thousands of devoted service members and civilians. We are committed to its full recovery and we look forward to working with you to achieve that goal.”