Posted on October 4, 2021
MOBILE, Ala. – When Hurricane Michael devastated Panama City, Fla. and Tyndall Air Force Base in particular, it was decided to rebuild the base because it’s a strategic asset for the Air Force and the DoD to ensure air superiority.
The challenge of rebuilding the base then fell to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, and in the three years since the storm hit significant progress is being made in the multi-billion dollar program.
Brig. Gen. Jason Kelly, USACE South Atlantic Division Commander, was recently at the base touring and getting an update on the progress of the rebuild and he had nothing but praise for the work the team at Tyndall is doing.
“Throughout the day I received nothing but positive feedback from our partners regarding the team’s transparency, professionalism and persistent communication,” Kelly said. “The team at Tyndall is doing it right.”
Col. Patrick Combs, Tyndall AFB Program Integration, said what the Tyndall team has accomplished so far is remarkable considering the circumstances they were faced with when they took on the task of the rebuild.
“Hurricane Michael flattened this base,” Combs said. “Brendan Kight (Tyndall Area Engineer) and Steve Daniels (Tyndall Branch Chief) have overcome insurmountable challenges. They’ve taken on the challenge of creating buildings of the future and designing a turnkey program in four years.”
To make Tyndall AFB into the base of innovation for the Air Force, the Tyndall team is ensuring the new buildings that make up the base can withstand a Category 5 hurricane, up to 180 mph sustained winds and ensuring the utilities, the operations center and the flight lines are able to withstand hurricane winds and rain.
One person who has seen the progress of the rebuild firsthand is Kight. Kight said the Tyndall rebuild is going well.
“The Tyndall reconstruction program is a unique opportunity to contribute to a nationally significant and strategic program to build the installation of the future,” Kight said. “As we grow our team and portfolio of Military Construction (MILCON) awards, it’s exciting to see the base literally come out of the ground and rise from the destruction of Hurricane Michael.”
Combs said the rebuild of Tyndall AFB is significant for several reasons, but most importantly is that the base houses three F-35 squadrons. He said it is the number one strategic target for our area of the country and it is the key project for USACE.
The importance of the rebuild and ensuring that Tyndall is transformed into the base of the future was echoed by Kelly.
“Following the devastation of Hurricane Michael in 2018, our team has been hard at work,” Kelly said. “I had the pleasure of visiting the base and was afforded the opportunity to spend some quality time with our amazing onsite team. I am extremely excited about the future of the installation and the work we are doing there.”