A Record of Decision has been issued by the US Air Force (USAF), making Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), Florida, the official location to host three new squadrons of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II.
The selection of Tyndall was announced by the base’s 325th Fighter Wing (FW) Public Affairs Office on March 29. Air force officials selected Tyndall 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 USAF to base F-35s at Tyndall after extensive damage from Hurricane Michael prompted the base’s re-design to become the Department of Defense’s first ‘Installation of the Future.’ This has allowed the USAF to rebuild the base to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35A.
Col Greg Moseley, commander of the 325th FW, said: “Adding F-35 squadrons at Tyndall ensures airmen will continue to have a strategic advantage as the 325th Fighter Wing enhances fighter training and combat readiness.”
The F-35As will be delivered to three fighter squadrons in multiple phases, with the first example planned to arrive at Tyndall in September 2023. Each squadron will be equipped with 24 aircraft, meaning that the Florida base will host 72 F-35As under the 325th FW by the time full mission capability is achieved.
Tyndall adjoins the Gulf Range Complex, comprised of 130,000 square miles of training airspace over the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the few ranges in the US 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.