Tyndall AFB outlines future plans during first industry day

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - The vision for Tyndall Air Force Base was outlined at an industry day, where elected officials and businesses interested in the rebuilding process were presented with the needs for the new base.

"The missions that they have assigned to Tyndall show that they are not only rebuilding it completely but bigger in the words of the President, bigger and more beautiful," Congressman Neal Dunn said.

Colonel Brian Laidlaw says three squadrons of F-35s could come to the base as early as 2023. To accommodate new missions, officials are hoping to re-organize the installation with dual-purpose facilities that are more resilient and sustainable. The complete rebuild is estimated to take between three to five years, costing well over $3 billion.

"There are some immense challenges in front of us and we have some immense opportunities to do some amazing things, but it only works when we all show up," Assistant Secretary of Air Force Installations, Environment, and Energy, John W. Henderson said.

In the next month, interested businesses will be asked to submit "white papers", or their proposals on how to better build the base for future missions.

"What's important to me is that we act fast. The quicker we allow housing to reconstruct at Tyndall Air Force base the quicker we can get back to the normalcy," Florida Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis said.

While a master plan is in the works, Tyndall will focus on repairing about 50 buildings critical to base operations. According to Air Force officials, they plan on presenting the master plan for rebuilding to Congress later in the spring. A second industry day will be held around May to discuss more concrete plans.