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Let the force support you

Airmen manage lodging from a temporary facility on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Staff Sgt. Yolanda Jackson and Tech. Sgt. Joseph Hennessy, 55th Force Support Squadron, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, manage lodging from a temporary facility Nov. 3, 2018, on Tyndall AFB, Florida. After Hurricane Michael swept the area, multiple major commands mobilized relief assets in an effort to restore operations after the hurricane caused catastrophic damage to the base. (US Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sean Carnes)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

 

As Tyndall begins to return to normalcy, force support Airmen from here and other bases help in-process service members to Tyndall who are helping with the rebuild.

There are approximately 1,800 Airmen on Tyndall assisting in the rebuild. Of that number, roughly 900 are stationed at Tyndall.

The Airmen’s roles are to keep track of how many original Tyndall personnel have returned and the number of Airmen from other bases that are helping out. They also ensure everyone has suitable lodging and are taken care of.

“When I first got here, there was a bunch of debris everywhere,” said Airman 1st Class Tristian Blaney, 325th Force Support Squadron services specialist. “There were only about 80 tents put up and there weren’t that many people here. The thing that stood out to me most was how dark it got at night.”

He said there were no street lights anywhere, so when nighttime hit it was pitch black.

“I’m happy to see everything starting to come back together,” said Blaney. “Some of the Airmen are transitioning into their dorms and we’re regaining the use of some of our buildings.”

 Within the first few weeks after Hurricane Michael hit, many services Airmen were recalled to help with the rebuild. They are currently involved with lodging and keeping track of the status of the Berg-Liles Dining Facility, where many of them used to work.

Services Airmen weren’t the only ones sent to Tyndall, personnelists from other bases came to assist Tyndall’s Personnel Military Flight in keeping track of all incoming Airmen.

“The most challenging part has been seeing all these Airmen coming back and hearing their stories,” said Airman 1st Class Jasmine Moore, 633rd Force Support Squadron personnelist, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. “It’s rewarding being able to give back to members of Tyndall.”

Tech. Sgt. Joseph Hennessy, 55th Force Support Squadron services NCO, Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, echoes his sentiment.

“Coming here was really surprising,” he said. “It was definitely an austere environment. I’ve deployed twice and these were harsher conditions than both of them. The hardest part was seeing the Tyndall services Airmen return and try to get their stuff and make a home for themselves in the new lodging after they lost so much.”

Hennessy said despite it all, he enjoys being here and being a part of the rebuild.

“We’re all brothers and sisters, so being a part of the healing process is something I will always be proud of,” he said.

Though both Team Tyndall and visiting Airmen have seen the damage brought on my Hurricane Michael, many have said they choose to focus not on the past, but moving forward. More Tyndall Airmen are expected to return as repairs continue with the base.