Oct. 15, 2018: A Letter from Col. Brian S. Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing Commander

  • Published
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Good morning Team Tyndall,

We are one week into the evacuation of Tyndall Air Force Base. We have completed the initial recovery phase. Phase 2 has begun.

The focus of Phase 2 is to get you back into your homes to inspect and gather your belongings.

Please understand that our base and local area remain dangerous. We are still cleaning roads, power lines and debris.

We are working to get our utilities back on line. Experts are telling me it will likely be a couple of weeks before we can start to get back our power.

This has been a major undertaking, but we are better than we were yesterday, and tomorrow will be even better.

In the next day, I will give you guidance for how and when I will open the gates for you to come back to your house or dorm.

To be clear, you won’t be able to stay. You will have to stage from outside the evacuation area and depart the base after you visit your home.

We do not have the capacity to feed you, bed you down, or provide any support to sustain a large population on base. All the resources we have are supporting the emergency relief efforts trying to bring our base back online.

My main effort right now is two-fold. First, we are preparing the base to receive and bed down a unit with a focus on repairs.

Second, I’m making the base safe for your return. This means cutting trees blocking roads in our neighborhoods and removing dangerous debris. We’ve lost a lot of tires on our trucks and other vehicles driving over nails and other debris. If we open the gates too soon we might make problems worse.

You and your families remain in my thoughts at all times. You have always been and will always be my number one priority. You are Tyndall’s most important asset, and I am so very thankful that you are all alright.

Col. Brian S. Laidlaw
325th Fighter Wing Commander