Tyndall AFB sets its sights on new community commons facility

What's called "the installation of the future" isn't just mapping out it's vision for its new F-35 jets.
Published: May. 1, 2023 at 7:02 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tyndall Air Force Base checked another groundbreaking ceremony off its list Monday. However, it wasn’t to promote the F-35A Lightning II Jets coming to the base.

“They’ll be a bowling alley, along with a couple of restaurants, the post office, and the library for airmen who are studying or looking to further their education,” Robert Bartlow, Chief of the Natural Disaster Recovery Division with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, said.

Air Force officials are touting the highly anticipated community commons facility that’s now under construction.

“This facility, and the services that will be inside this facility are all about taking care of our people and making sure our people have somewhere to go when they’re not at work to enjoy themselves,” Bartlow said.

Service members aren’t the only ones in support of it.

Florida Congressman Neal Dunn participated in the groundbreaking ceremony.

“People forget how important airmen and their families are to the mission of the Air Force,” Dunn said. “This is true across all of the services. We have to remember, you just don’t get a service member. You get a service member and their family.”

The commons will be an opportunity for families to spend time together.

Dunn also said the facility will be an important asset after Hurricane Michael heavily damaged the base.

“I was here the day after the storm, and this was devastating,” he said. “The buildings have since been demolished and removed.”

However, it’s all about prioritizing the future.

“So, to see it coming out of the ground as it were, like a phoenix; I mean, it’s a big, big deal for all of us locally,” Dunn said.

They will also build a chapel. Air Force officials said the whole project costs around $100 million. It’s expected to be completed by November of 2024.