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Air Force, industry meet to discuss rebuilding Tyndall

  • Published
  • By J. Brian Garmon
  • Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs
Air Force representatives met with more than 450 industry professionals and community leaders Jan. 31 to begin a dialogue and partnership that will eventually lead to the rebuilding of Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, as an “installation of the future.”

The Tyndall Industry Day held at Florida State University Panama City provided the construction industry with its first look at the damage wrought by Hurricane Michael Oct. 10, 2018, recovery operations and the approach the Air Force will take to rebuild the base as a modern installation that will sustain missions for decades to come.

John Henderson, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, Tyndall AFB and Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center leaders presented a state of the base overview, shared their initial rebuild strategy and encouraged industry attendees to partner with them for the unprecedented five-year and more than $3 billion reconstruction project.

The base includes nearly 1,200 facilities and 100 percent of them will need some level of repair, officials said. Long-term rebuild plans call for multi-use, smart facilities able to withstand severe weather, a more capable flightline to support F-35 operations by 2023 and future weapons platforms in the decades that follow, and walkable campus areas that provide consolidated one-stop-shop facilities for Airmen and their families.

“Today is about gaining a shared understanding of the challenges, the opportunities and the work ahead of us,” Henderson said in opening remarks. “This is also an extremely important opportunity to listen to one another, learn about each other’s ideas, innovations, concerns, and so on. We can’t do this without your help.”

Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Scott Matthews, Tyndall Program Management Office director, provided a base overview, summarized installation damage from Hurricane Michael, and highlighted recovery efforts and facility assessments.

Matthews and Amy Vandeveer, Air Force Civil Engineer Center subject matter expert for installation planning, also provided insight into the road ahead for Tyndall AFB.

“For several years, the Air Force has talked about what an installation of the future looks like from several perspectives: sustainable, smart, healthy and resilient,” Vandeveer said. “Tyndall provides a unique opportunity to make some bold moves and implement multiple strategies aligned with what we envision such an installation will look like.”

Air Force leaders concluded the event with a 90-minute panel question-and-answer session that covered such topics as contracting and community partnerships.

Rep. Neal Dunn thanked Laidlaw for the Tyndall AFB team’s commitment in recovering the base and for the work that lies ahead.

“I can’t say enough good about you, your men and women, the bravery, persistence and dedication they’ve shown in cleaning up the base and helping rebuild already,” Dunn said. “Kudos to your team and their outstanding effort.”

Every speaker underscored the bond Tyndall AFB shares with the Bay County community.

“Shared adversity builds strong bonds,” Henderson said. “By looking around here today and having monitored very closely how this recovery has gone with Tyndall (AFB) and the partnership that exists within the community, I can say the bond between the Air Force and this community has never been stronger.”

A second industry day will be scheduled for May to discuss innovative ideas the Air Force will solicit from industry partners in the next 30-45 days. The call for white papers will focus on facility and infrastructure design and construction, community partnership opportunities and program management.

Industry day presentations and videos, details about the white paper solicitation, announcement of the next industry day, all other information about the Program Management Office and the rebuilding of Tyndall AFB will be posted on the website at