TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
A good way to comprehend the resiliency of Tyndall is to get a bird’s eye view of where the Airmen here have been and where they are taking the installation into the future.
Piloting an F-15E Strike Eagle, Gen. Mark Kelly, commander of Air Combat Command, landed at Tyndall for a visit, Sept. 28-29, 2020.
The flight and visit allowed Kelly to get an overhead and ground perspective of the installation’s rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Michael in October 2018.
“To be resilient can be difficult in its own right, but try doing it after a natural disaster or make it even harder by being geographically separated from the installation and now do it during a pandemic,” Kelly said. “It was helpful for me see it in person -- you don’t feel it unless you see it. It is impressive what they have had to go through and have accomplished.”
Kelly’s visit focused on post-hurricane rebuild progress, understanding the installation’s current and future plans for operations and seeing how Tyndall is still developing resourceful and resilient Airmen trained to project unrivaled combat airpower.
“To rebuild resilient requires resilient Airmen,” Kelly said.
Seizing the opportunity, Kelly publically recognized a few of Tyndall’s best and brightest innovators, for their resiliency and hard work they had done and continue to do for the base.
- Staff Sgt. Danielle Hamzik, 325th Aerospace Medicine Squadron
- Morgan Haudenschild, 325th FW Judge Advocate Office
- William Zeringue, 325th Maintenance Squadron
- Senior Airman Aaron Dryden, 325th Operations Support Squadron
- Airman 1st Class Roosevelt Alexander, 325th Force Support Squadron.
“Thanks for what you do every day,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.”
Kelly spoke passionately with Tyndall’s Airmen about navigating the road ahead and the challenges there will be to overcome, but he is excited about it, and to see what resilient Airmen continue to bring to the fight.
“There’s 94,000 sons and daughters that are under ACC, which means there’s 94,000 families attached to these great Airmen, and there are 94,000 sets of parents who loaned us their sons and daughters. We owe them focused effort,” the commander said.
He also spoke with the 325th Fighter Wing squadron commanders to gauge how the installation is upholding airpower projection for future generations.
“We as a nation, and as a MAJCOM, we’re only as strong as that which we can project forward, only as strong as what we can defend, what we can sustain and what we can credibly operate. You only do that with resilient Airmen, resilient families, resilient networks, infrastructure and weapons systems,” Kelly said. "This will serve as a great example of what resilience looks like; the term they use is ‘Installation of the Future’ and that’s accurate because in the future we’re going to need all that resiliency rolled into one.”