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LETTER FROM THE COMMANDER

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)

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)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

To the Airmen and families of Team Tyndall,



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