Tyndall’s rebuild project is an economic driver for Bay County

Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 5:51 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay EDA held an executive committee and investors joint meeting at Gulf Coast State College Wednesday morning.

One of the major topics of discussion was the Tyndall Air Force Base rebuild project that costs billions.

Hurricane Michael’s massive devastation to the base isn’t the only reason the government is investing, though.

“The main reason Tyndall was rebuilt was because of the Gulf Range complex,” Bay Defense Alliance President Tom Neubauer said. “The ability of all the bases in Northwest Florida and the state of Florida to access the Gulf Range to do testing and training.”

Experts say this complex is a national defense and security asset.

Neubauer said these airmen need to be given the necessary resources to work to the best of their ability.

“The Air Force has made a huge commitment to this community,” Neubauer said. “$5.2 billion to rebuild this Air Force base. As the community, our commitment to the Air Force is we’ve got to make sure there’s housing, medical infrastructure, school infrastructure, all those things must be in place for those airmen who move into this area.”

The demand to build all of this infrastructure is also providing job opportunities to people.

This, in turn, is helping the local economy.

“The rebuild of Tyndall is driving much of the construction that’s going on,” Neubauer said. “Not just on the East side of town but across the entire community. It enables a lot of the developers to look at this area and say this is where I want to invest our next project.”

The facts speak for themselves when looking at the overall economic impact.

“The defense in Bay County represents roughly 34% of our economy,” Neubauer said.

Some parts of the rebuild project will be finished by the Fall of this year.

Other parts are slated to be completed by 2026.

Tyndall was also allotted a multi-million dollar contract award for the F-35A Lightning II jets coming to the base.

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