Officials Optimistic Despite F-22 Delay

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Air Force officials announced earlier this week the delay of a squadron of F-22 Raptors from Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. They were expected sometime in the next few weeks, but due to the Defense Department spending freezes in October, the move has been moved forward to early 2014.

"We're disappointed that the aircraft won't be here next week," said Bay Defense Alliance President Tom Neubauer, "but we're very delighted that they're going to be here in the coming year because this is a very difficult time for communities all over the country."

Beside the 21 Raptors and 8 T-38 Fighter/Trainers, Tyndall will receive 620 active duty personnel and 230 Air Force reservists.

Tyndall commanders are also choosing to take the high road saying the delay will minimize disruptions for airmen and their families and optimize combat capabilities and continuity.

Neubauer also stated that the move in time was ideal for Tyndall and that the effect it will have on surrounding communities won't be that formidable.

He sais the people most effected will be the families that have already moved.

"I think it's been pretty difficult for military families from other locations that were moving here. Are we on again? Off again? In fact, some people had already moved here from Holloman," said Neubauer, "this has really lifted some of that uncertainty from those families and it's much easier now for them to make some plans."

The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force is still working on a specific date for the transfer.

Local community leaders estimate the additional aircraft and personnel will pump millions of dollars into the local economy.