The Story

In 2018, Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. Overall, 484 buildings were damaged, and Tyndall removed 792,450 cubic yards of debris which would fit in to Washington DC’s Capitol Rotunda 16.5 times. As the 325th Fighter Wing began to reconstitute, headquarters Air Force and Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center quickly realized the mammoth effort needed to rebuild the installation. In support of the wing commander, AFIMSC established a Program Management Office (PMO) to support the redevelopment and reconstruction of Tyndall. In 2021, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center established the Natural Disaster Recovery Division (NDR) to enhance the PMO and the Department of the Air Force’s ability to recover from natural disasters. Led by AFCEC’s Facilities Engineering Directorate, the Tyndall-based NDR Division provides strategic construction management to assist Air Force installations to quickly recover from disasters and make infrastructure more resilient.

Now, almost three years later, Tyndall and the NDR work hand-in-hand to reshape the base into a more lethal, ready, and resilient base. Coined the “Installation of the Future”, this base will be the first of its kind in the Department of Defense. It will meet the needs of our current and future forces by incorporating resilient infrastructure, innovative designs, and novel technology to equip Airmen to execute the mission of today and tomorrow. Tyndall was also selected by the Air Force to host three new squadrons of the F-35A Lightning II. While the rebuild will be underway for 5-7 years, we are on track for the first of these aircraft to arrive in September 2023.

Throughout the rebuilding process, Tyndall has remained operationally ready and continues to project unrivaled combat airpower for our nation. The 325th Fighter Wing trains and prepares F-22 Raptor pilots for assignment to combat Air Force units and supports multiple tenant organizations. Our Airmen remain ready for worldwide deployment in support of combat operations.

Why Rebuild?

Our national leadership has supported and encouraged the redevelopment of Tyndall into the “Installation of the Future” to include resilient construction designed to withstand the impacts of inclement weather. New facilities at Tyndall will be optimized to reduce maintenance costs, increase safety/security, and maximize functionality to enable efficient and effective mission execution.  The Installation of the Future represents an evolution toward a more resilient, ready and lethal Air Force. Team Tyndall is creating a stronger, more efficient and innovative 21st Century base to serve as the new standard for DOD installations.

Tyndall AFB is a critical asset for the nation’s defense strategy. Tyndall adjoins the Gulf Range Complex, comprised of 180,000 square miles of training airspace over the Gulf of Mexico. The GRC is one of the few ranges in the U.S. capable of supporting large-scale air combat training. Direct access to this range is essential for fifth-generation fighter readiness, for fourth and fifth-generation fighter interoperability, and for live-fire testing and training.

 

What is the Natural Disaster Recovery Division?

In less than six months, natural disasters shut down two major bases and bottlenecked critical training and mission operations for months. Initially, the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Facility Engineering Directorate managed both of these recovery and rebuild projects through separate program management offices.
They are now aligned under a new program office, the Natural Disaster Recovery Division, focused on recovering bases like Tyndall AFB and Offutt AFB and rebuilding them with adaptive, resilient, right-sized and fiscally sustainable infrastructure that enhances combat power.
“Installations are the foundation of Air Force readiness and lethality … they provide air power, training and they’re home to countless Airmen, Guardians and their families,” said Col. Travis Leighton, NDRD chief.
The division will serve as a strategic reserve of expertise equipped to tackle current and future natural disasters with capabilities that include damage assessment, requirements development and construction execution. The division also has a responsibility to ensure installations are more resilient to future natural disasters, Leighton said.
At Tyndall AFB, the division is tackling a five-to-seven-year rebuild effort that includes 44 new military construction, or MILCON, and 260 facility sustainment restoration and modernization, or FSRM projects, valued at $4.9 billion.

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Colonel Robert L. Bartlow

Chief of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center Natural Disaster Recovery Division