State and local leaders celebrate arrival of new reaper wing at Tyndall Air Force Base

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - State and local leaders gathered at Gulf Coast State College Tuesday evening to celebrate the new addition of an MQ-9 Reaper Wing coming to Tyndall Air Force Base.

Governor Rick Scott and Congressman Neal Dunn were there, along with other state and local leaders and officials from Tyndall.

The wing is expected to bring about 1,600 new jobs and more than $250 million of military construction.

Officials say Tyndall was chosen out of hundreds of bases, for a variety of reasons.

"The real value for the wing coming here is a quality of life for the military members who are now in places across the country, desert locations and nice parts of the country but it's the same. They're looking for a place where quality of life could be different, improved, and where there will be leadership opportunities where they can grow and this is a place where that can happen," Bay Defense Alliance President Tom Neubauer said.

Surrounding restaurant and shop owners say the new addition could also bring a business boom to the area.