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Acting SecAF Matthew P. Donovan visits Tyndall

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, is greeted by U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, is greeted by U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Donovan accepted this position June 1, and his first visit was to Tyndall as the acting SecAF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, and his team arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 2, 2019.

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, and his team arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 2, 2019. During his visit, Donovan met U.S. Air Force Airmen, toured the base and spoke to media about Tyndall’s recovery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, introduces Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, to media June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

U.S. Air Force Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander, introduces Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, to media June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Donovan held a press conference during his visit, discussing the strategic importance of Tyndall and answering questions about updates on the base’s recovery. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, speaks with U.S. Air Force Airmen, June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, speaks with U.S. Air Force Airmen, June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Donovan toured Tyndall to see the recovery efforts around the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

Base leadership salutes the distinguished visitors’ departing aircraft June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

Base leadership salutes the distinguished visitors’ departing aircraft June 2, 2019, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The visit from Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, was his first visit to a base in his new position. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
Honorable Matthew P. Donovan, acting Secretary of the Air Force, visited Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 2, 2019, after assuming the position June 1.

“It’s our privilege to be the first base visit for our [acting] Secretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Matthew Donovan,” said Col. Brian Laidlaw, 325th Fighter Wing commander.

Donovan was stationed at Tyndall twice when he served in the military. He flew the U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter aircraft in the 1990s as an instructor pilot and later as an Air Combat Command demonstration pilot. He returned to Tyndall in 2001 as the 95th Fighter Squadron commander. 

“It’s really great to be back in Bay County and Panama City and Tyndall AFB,” Donovan said. “It was the best time of my life here, flying Eagles on the beach.”

Donovan toured the base to see the destruction Hurricane Michael caused, the recovery efforts already completed and future plans for the base rebuild.

“It’s really important that we continue to advocate for Tyndall AFB and getting it rebuilt,” Donovan said. “We’re cautiously optimistic that we’re pretty close on a supplemental now.”

Donovan held a press conference during his visit, discussing the strategic importance of Tyndall and answering questions about updates on the base’s recovery. He also met with Tyndall Airmen to thank them for their hard work, resiliency and dedication to execute the mission.

“I want to put a shout out to all the Airmen,” Donovan said. “That was always the best part of any tour I had in the Air Force, was interacting with the Airmen cause they’re what makes it so special.”