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We have come a long way - Tyndall's focus has always been on training

TYNDALL, AFB, Fla. --  A foldout postcard sent in 1945. The postcard unfolds to reveal colored pictures of Tyndall Field and downtown Panama City in the 1940s. Tyndall has trained Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL, AFB, Fla. -- A foldout postcard sent in 1945. The postcard unfolds to reveal colored pictures of Tyndall Field and downtown Panama City in the 1940s. Tyndall has trained Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. --  A group of Airmen pose underneath a sign during the World War II era. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- A group of Airmen pose underneath a sign during the World War II era. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. --  Aerial gunners train on Tyndall's range in the 1950s. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- Aerial gunners train on Tyndall's range in the 1950s. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. --  A captain is taught how to assemble a machine gun here in the 1940s. Tyndall has been a training base for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- A captain is taught how to assemble a machine gun here in the 1940s. Tyndall has been a training base for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. --  A T-38 training jet sits on the flightline here in support of Tyndall's training mission. Tyndall has trained Airmen here for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- A T-38 training jet sits on the flightline here in support of Tyndall's training mission. Tyndall has trained Airmen here for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. --  Tyndall Airmen unload 161,000 tons of cargo from a C-5 Galaxy in 1982. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of the 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- Tyndall Airmen unload 161,000 tons of cargo from a C-5 Galaxy in 1982. Tyndall has been training Airmen for more than 60 years. (Photo courtesy of the 325th Fighter Wing historian office)

TYNDALL AFB, Fla. -- (Editor's note: All of the pictures and information is courtesy of the 325th FW historian.)

As the Air Force celebrates 59 years of air power, Tyndall looks back on over 60 years of training America's defense. 

Plans for Tyndall in the Panama City area started as early as September 1940. The area was considered ideal for aerial gunnery training because of its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico which could be used aerial gunnery ranges. 

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the Tyndall site was approximately 75 percent complete and was pushed into early completion. 

Because of Pearl Harbor, Tyndall observes Dec. 7, 1941 as its day of activation, although it's first flag was raised at its headquarters building until Feb. 12, 1942. 

Gunnery training began later that month. During World War II, Tyndall trained thousands of men to fight as aerial gunners for bomber aircraft. 

The War Department approved the name Tyndall Field on June 13, 1941, naming the establishment after Lieutenant Frank Tyndall, a World War I ace pilot, killed in the line of duty in 1930. 

By 1944, Tyndall was training bomber co-pilots for the B-17 and B-24 aircraft. During that time the Women's Air Force Service Pilots began flying here. 

After WWII, when the Air Force became a separate branch of the military, Tyndall Field's name changed to Tyndall AFB. 

The base's mission changed many times over the years, but the mission was always related to aerial defense training. 

In 1957, Tyndall's primary aircraft was the F-104 while under the Air Defense Command for more than 22 years. In 1966, the base had yet another shift in mission with the combat crew training for the F-101 and F-106. 

In the early 1980s, the 325th Tactical Training Wing and 475th Weapons Evaluation Group were activated, along with many other additions to the base, including the F-15 Eagle. 

In 2002, Tyndall received another aircraft, the F-22 Raptor and the training mission continues in to the future.