WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJHG/WECP) - During a House subcommittee meeting Wednesday on Capitol Hill, a Representative from California questioned whether Tyndall Air Force Base really should be rebuilt or not.
“It is in harm’s way now. It has been in the past, and it will be in the future,” Representative John Garamendi, (D) California, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee subpanel on readiness, said about Tyndall. “And the question that this committee is asking — and we will expect an answer from the Air Force — does it make any sense to rebuild at that place?”
In February after touring Tyndall Air Force Base, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke about Tyndall during a meeting about the 2019 National Emergency Declaration to Build a Border Wall and its Effects on Military Construction and Readiness.
"The devastation that I witnesses in Mexico Beach and the surrounding communities on the Base, I've not seen since Andrew, and it took my breath away," Representative Wasserman Schultz said. "Ninety-five percent of Tyndall Air Force Base was destroyed."
During that meeting, Wasserman-Schultz asked Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Installations, Environment and Energy John Henderson if there could be a delay in Tyndall being rebuilt.
"So, there's no possibility that Tyndall's rebuilding will be delayed," she asked Henderson?
Henderson replied, "All of the funds that we're currently using at Tyndall are currently being cash-flowed out of the current Air Force FY19 O&M funds, and we're already pulling those from other accounts because that (Tyndall) is a priority for us. Secondly, because of the urgency and because of the mission we're trying to recover there, it would be highly unlikely that we would divert funds from Tyndall at this point."
We spoke with Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. Thursday about the statements made by Representative Garamendi. He released this statement:
"President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson have made it clear that Tyndall Air Force Base is key to our national security and have taken concrete steps toward its rebuild. [Wednesday]’s hearing was an exercise in political grandstanding. There are currently no serious threats aimed at closing Tyndall. I have been fighting to secure the necessary funding to rebuild the base and members on both sides of the aisle stand behind these efforts."