TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
More than 30,000 acres of Tyndall land and water has to be
maintained, not only for Tyndall’s mission, but its wildlife.
Advancing and sustaining these resources is important to the
health and morale of Airmen, as well as sustaining the mission. One 325th Civil
Engineer Squadron flight’s goal is making sure this is accomplished.
Natural Resources manages the biologically diverse natural
environment for continued use. They also help restore and manage forests for
mission use, habitat improvement and protection of threatened and endangered
“Natural Resources is essential for the base and its Airmen,
and is responsible for maintaining the access roads to many popular
recreational areas,” said Jared Kwitowski, 325th CES wildlife biologist. “We
plan and implement the base hunting and fishing program and outdoor recreation
program, which provides Airmen with great activities on base while enjoying the
Natural Resources is comprised of three sections: forestry,
wildlife and cultural resources. Within the office there are six 325th members and
two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contractors.
The cultural resources staff identifies and protects
archeological and historic resources on the base.
“Tyndall has some amazing archeological and historic sites
spanning eras, including Native Americans, Spanish and British explorers, early
American settlers and the beginnings of the Air Force in World War II,” said
Wendy Weaver, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Cultural Resources manager.
“History is literally embedded in the grounds of Tyndall.”
The forest management section supports the Tyndall mission through
selective thinning, natural and artificial regeneration of native species and
by prescribed fire burns. These are used to achieve installation goals for
military training requirements, airfield safety compliance, wildfire protection,
forest enhancement and restoration, endangered species and wildlife habitat
improvement, and recreational development.
“I often tell people that I have the best job in the Air
Force,” said Daniel L. Childs, 325th CES forestry technician. “It is a pleasure
working with men and women that have volunteered to protect this country, and
it is an honor to be able to use forestry to support the military mission.”
The wildlife section practices wildlife management
principles and techniques while supporting the base mission. One of the focal
points of the program is the management and conservation of threatened and
endangered species, to include sea turtle nest monitoring, endangered beach
mouse and threatened shorebird monitoring.
The wildlife section also implements the base hunting, fishing and
outdoor recreation programs.
“I enjoy my work in the wildlife section of Natural
Resources,” Kwitowski said. “It’s a unique position to be in, and not only
gives me the opportunity to practice good wildlife management techniques, but
also provides great ways to give back to Airmen in the form of excellent
outdoor recreational opportunities.”
Natural Resources provides Airmen and their families different
opportunities to enjoy the nature and wildlife. Some outdoor recreational activities
include hiking trails, beaches, fishing and hunting.
“There are a lot of activities people on base can enjoy,”
Kwitowski said. “Our beautiful, undeveloped beaches provide relaxing and fun
vacations from stressful work conditions, and the best part is that they are
right in our own back yard.”
For more information on outdoor recreational activities,
call the Natural Resources office at 850-283-2641 or visit https://tyndall.isportsman.net/.