Tyndall Air Force Base to host three new squadrons of F-35A Lightning II

Tyndall Air Force Base to host three new squadrons of F-35A Lightning II

By Dario Leone
Mar 31 2021
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A Record of Decision was issued by the US Air Force (USAF) making Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) the official location to host three new squadrons of the F-35A Lightning II.

A Record of Decision was issued by the US Air Force (USAF) making Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB) the official location to host three new squadrons of the F-35A Lightning II.

According to the 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs news release, USAF officials selected Tyndall AFB based on numerous attributes, including infrastructure capability, quality of life for Airmen, and airspace. The selection process included a thorough environmental impact analysis, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The decision followed a 2018 proposal by the Air Force to base F-35s at Tyndall AFB after extensive damage from Hurricane Michael prompted the base’s redesign to become the Department of Defense’s first Installation of the Future. This has allowed the Air Force to rebuild the base to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35A.

The F-22 Raptor fighter jets that were housed at Tyndall AFB before the hurricane had been moved to other bases.

As we have previously reported, before the storm, Tyndall AFB was home of two F-22 squadrons. One was operational and one was training. The base also hosts the 1st Air Force, the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.

The F-22s had been reassigned to units in Alaska, Hawaii and Virginia.

“Adding F-35 squadrons at Tyndall (AFB) ensures Airmen will continue to have a strategic advantage as the 325th Fighter Wing enhances fighter training and combat readiness,” said Col. Greg Moseley, 325th FW commander.

The F-35s will be delivered to three fighter squadrons in multiple phases, with the first aircraft planned to arrive in September 2023. Each of the squadrons will have 24 Joint Strike Fighters assigned; totaling 72 aircraft assigned to Tyndall AFB’s 325th FW once full mission capability is achieved.

The installation adjoins the Gulf Range Complex, comprising 130,000 square miles of training airspace over the Gulf of Mexico, and is one of the few ranges in the U.S. capable of supporting large-scale air combat training. Direct access to this range is essential for fifth-generation fighter readiness and for live-fire testing and training.

“The airspace surrounding Tyndall (AFB) is a national treasure,” Moseley said. “The type of training conducted here integrates the DoD’s most advanced aircraft and builds a dynamic force.”

As threats evolve and change around the world, the 325th FW and Air Combat Command must train daily to deter and defend against any threat. “

Air dominance is critical to the National Defense Strategy and basing F-35s at Tyndall (AFB) will only further our service’s air superiority goals for 2030 and beyond,” Moseley said.

F-35A print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. F-35A Lightning II 56th OG, 61st FS, LF/12-5050 / 2014

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt Savanah Bray

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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