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Acting SecAF Matthew P. Donovan visits Tyndall

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Alexandra Singer
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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.”