Tyndall Moments

I wasn’t planning to write another letter to all of you just because it is the one year anniversary of the hurricane, but that changed after I walked through the one year anniversary gallery that Chaplain Robert Tilley and our FSS set up in the Horizons Chapel. As I walked through the gallery and looked at each picture and read each vignette it reminded me of countless, isolated acts of heroism and meaningful stories of resiliency and grit over the last twelve months. Assembled one right after the other with videos and music playing in the background, these images tell a powerful story. It is the story of how you locked arms and rebuked the worst of Mother Nature. It is your story told one vignette at a time of how strong-willed Airmen, held afloat by resilient families, scoffed the odds stacked against them. It is your story of fighting…yes fighting…every day to make it a little bit better than the day before. Like nearly all of you, I’ve spent the last year focusing on each day, one at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. It took walking through that gallery this afternoon for me to appreciate the vastness of how far you have come and how much you have accomplished. I pity the enemy who picks a fight with you. Whether you were part of this team before the storm, joined the team after the storm, or were part of the team for a short time in between, I simply say thank you. We have a long way to go. It’s not yet time for a victory party, but as a recent visitor to our base pointed out to me, you guys are winning a batting title one single at a time. Thank you to all of you…and to your families. Chaplain Tilley and his team helped remind me that we are better today than we were yesterday, and the United States Air Force has all of you to thank for it. Just imagine where we’ll be this time next year… Sincerely, Col Brian Laidlaw, 325 FW/CC
In the early hours of Oct. 10, 2018, many communities in Northwest Florida prepared for a storm expected to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane. Tyndall Air Force Base was also preparing for the storm named Hurricane Michael. Prior to Hurricane Michael, Tyndall was home to two F-22 squadrons including the training school house for that weapons system. Today, some aspects of that mission are still here at Tyndall, like the academics and simulator facility, while others have moved temporarily to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, and other representatives from Tyndall Air Force Base and its partners, including the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Tyndall Program Management Office and Air Forces Northern / 1st Air Force, facilitated a tour to a congressional delegation focusing on communicating Hurricane Michael recovery and rebuild updates, a current mission brief, a windshield tour of mission support facilities including the dining facility, dormitories, temporary lodging and the fitness center. They also toured the operational side of the base including the 601st Air Operations Center, flight line support and maintenance agencies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)
Airman 1st Class Brian Nguyen, left, and Senior Airman Deliz Aguilera, right, 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron Ambulance Services Department medics secure a patient during an emergency medical response exercise Oct. 4, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Patients in need of medical transportation are seat belted safely to a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance to provide the safest and fastest transit to the proper facility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Magen M. Reeves)
Tech. Sgt. Jack Tucker, 325th Fighter Wing occupational safety manager, poses for a photo. Tucker has served as an occupational safety manager at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, and risk management is a priority in both his personal and professional life due to an experience he had as a teenager growing up in central Alabama. (Courtesy Photo)
A Tyndall Air Force Base Fire Emergency Services vehicle sits parked in preparation for Fire Prevention Week Oct. 1, 2019 on base. Fire Prevention Week is a national observance which works to raise public awareness of fire and home safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet assigned to the 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., remains parked on the flightline during Combat Archer 19-12 on Tyndall AFB, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. Combat Archer is the Department of Defense’s largest air-to-air live fire missile employment exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)
Vikki Dalton, 325th Force Support Squadron Arts and Crafts Center manager, stands at the front desk of the Arts and Crafts Center on Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019. The Arts and Crafts Center offers a wide varies of personalized items and crafty classes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Bailee A. Darbasie)

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