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Tyndall Air Force Base

Air Education and Training Command.png

Part of Air Education and Training Command (AETC)
Located near Panama City, Florida
Tyndall Air Force Base, 19 January 1999
Type Air Force Base
Coordinates 30°4′43″N 85°34′35″W / 30.07861°N 85.57639°W / 30.07861; -85.57639
Built 1941
In use 1941-Present
Controlled by United States Air Force
Garrison 325th Fighter Wing
Tyndall AFB is located in Florida
Tyndall AFB
Location of Tyndall AFB, Florida
An F-22 Raptor and two F-15 Eagles from Tyndall Air Force Base participate in a refueling mission with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the Mississippi Air National Guard over eastern Florida, September 22, 2008.
Lieutenant Francis B. Tyndall (1894-1930)

Tyndall Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base located 12 miles (19 km) east of Panama City, Florida, about 75 miles (121 km) west-southwest of Tallahassee, Florida. The base was named in honor of World War I pilot 1st Lt Frank Benjamin Tyndall. The base operating unit and host wing is the 325th Fighter Wing (325 FW) of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC).


Major units


325th Fighter Wing (325 FW)

The 325th Fighter Wing’s primary mission is to provide air dominance training for F-15 Eagle and F-22 Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel and air battle managers to support the combat Air Force. Training for F-15 pilots is performed in the 2nd and 95th fighter squadrons, while training for F-22 pilots is performed in the 43rd Fighter Squadron. The 325th Air Control Squadron trains air battle managers for assignment to combat Air Force units. Additionally, wing personnel manage the southeastern air combat maneuvering instrumentation range and provide mission-ready F-15 and F-22 air dominance forces in support of the Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)/First Air Force contingency plans.

The 325th Fighter Wing is host to more than 30 tenant organizations located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The wing consists of the 325th Operations Group, 325th Maintenance Group, 325th Mission Support Group and 325th Medical Group.

First Air Force (1 AF)

Headquarters, First Air Force at Tyndall is part of the Air Combat Command (ACC), ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States. As the CONUS geographical component of the bi-national North American Aerospace Defense Command and air component of United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), 1 AF also provides airspace surveillance and control and directs all air sovereignty activities for the continental United States. 1 AF primarily consists of Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) and Air Reserve Technician (ART) personnel of the Air National Guard (ANG). Operationally-gained by ACC, 1 AF is the only Numbered Air Force in the Air National Guard.

53rd Weapons Evaluation Group

The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (53 WEG), is an Air Combat Command tenant organization that reports to the 53rd Wing at nearby Eglin Air Force Base. Among its subordinate squadrons at Tyndall, the 53 WEG manages offshore weapons ranges over the Gulf of Mexico, manages target drone programs ranging from sub-scale targets to a fleet of QF-4 Phantom II full-scale aerial targets (FSAT) and serves as primary manager for the annual U.S. Air Force Air-to-Air Weapons Meet and competition known as "William Tell".

Additionally, all of the Air Force's Air Battle Managers are trained at Tyndall. The Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency is headquartered at Tyndall and a branch of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate also has facilities at the base.

Reference for major units[1]


Tyndall Field was opened on 13 January 1941 as a gunnery range. The airfield was named in honor of 1st Lt Frank Benjamin Tyndall (1894-1930). Lieutenant Tyndall was a World War I pilot, Silver Star recipient, and commander of the 22d Aero Squadron. Lieutenant Tyndall shot down four enemy airplanes in combat over France during World War I. He was killed on 15 July 1930 near Mooresville, North Carolina, in the crash of a Curtiss P-1 Hawk. With the establishment of the United States Air Force in 1947, the facility was renamed "Tyndall Air Force Base" on 13 January 1948.

Major commands to which assigned

  • Southeast Air Corps Training Center, 16 Jun 1941
  • Air Corps Flying Training Command, 23 Jan 1942
Redesignated AAF Flying Training Comd, 15 Mar 1942
Redesignated AAF Training Comd, 31 Jul 1943
Redesignated Aerospace Defense Command, 15 Jan 1968

Major units assigned

  • 80th Air Base Group, 1 Aug 1941 - 2 Oct 1942
  • 69th Base HQ and Air Base Sq, 6 Jul 1942 - 30 Apr 1944
  • 2135th AAF Base Unit, 1 May 1944 - 30 Oct 1945
  • 308th AAF Base Unit, 1 Mar 1946 - 27 Feb 1948
  • 500th Aerodrome Gp, 17 May 1947 - 27 Jul 1948
  • 3625 Training Wing
Various Designations, 28 Jul 1948 - 15 Aug 1958
  • USAF Instructor Flight School, 1 Oct 1949 - 1 Dec 1951
  • USAF Interceptor Weapons School, 20 Aug 1956 - 1 Mar 1970
  • 73d Air Division, 1 Jul 1957 - 1 Apr 1966
  • 4756th Air Defense Wing, 1 Jul 1957 - 1 Jan 1968
  • 4756th Drone Squadron
Redesignated 4756th Air Depot Squadron, 1 Jul 1957 - 1 Jul 1992
95th Fighter-Interceptor Training Squadron, 1973 - 1 Oct 1979
2d Fighter-Interceptor Training Squadron, 1974 - 1 Oct 1979

References for history, major commands and major units[2][3]

Operational history

Welcome To Tyndall Field, World War II
Oblique aerial photo of Tyndall Field looking westward, about 1944
Convair F-106A-130-CO Delta Dart Serial 59-0119 of the Air Defense Weapons Center, Tyndall AFB Florida, 1979. This aircraft was retired in 1983, converted to a QF-106 Drone and expended over the White Sands Missile Range near Holloman AFB, NM on 13 September 1991.
F-15C and F-22A over Tyndall AFB, 2008

World War II

In December 1940, a site board determined that Flexible Gunnery School No. 9 would be located 12 miles (19 km) southeast of Panama City, Florida on East Peninsula. On May 6, 1941, Army and local dignitaries held an official ground breaking for the school. Panama City's mayor, Harry Fannin, dug the first spade full of sand, and Colonel Warren Maxwell, Tyndall's first commander, wielded the first ax on the stubborn palmetto plants, so common on the East Peninsula. The site was covered with pine and palmetto trees, scrub brush, and swamps. Bulldozers worked around the clock to clear the brush and fill in swamps.[4]

Although construction was well underway, the base lacked a name. Congressman Bob Sikes suggested naming the school in memory of Lieutenant Francis B. Tyndall. A native of Sewall's Point, Florida. Lieutenant Tyndall was a fighter pilot during World War I and was credited with shooting down four German planes well behind enemy lines in 1918. While inspecting Army fields near Mooresville, North Carolina on July 15, 1930, Tyndall's plane crashed, killing him instantly. On June 13, 1941, the War Department officially named the new installation Tyndall Field.[4]

On 7 Dec 1941, the first of 2,000 troops arrived at Tyndall Field. The first class of gunnery students began in February 1942. Although construction was incomplete, instructors and students began preparing for the first class. The first class of 40 gunnery students began on February 23, 1942. Of the thousands of students passing through the Tyndall gates, the most famous was actor Clark Gable, a student here during 1943. Foreign student training began at Tyndall in 1943 with French Air Force gunnery students being the first and Chinese students following later that year. Today, foreign students attend weapons controller training at Tyndall. [4]

Cold War

When World War II ended, Tyndall Field was demobilized. The base fell under the control of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) in 1946, but this only lasted three months, as Tyndall became part of the Air University (AU). Tyndall Field was subsequently renamed as Tyndall Air Force Base when the U.S. Air Force became a separate service in 1947. [4]

In September 1950, Tyndall became an Air Training Command (ATC) unit, designated as the USAF Pilot Instructor School. The base also trained Ground Controlled Intercept (GCI) operators as well as interceptor pilots & flight crews for the Air Defense Command. Under the auspices of this training system, GCI trainees would direct TF-51H Mustangs against "enemy" A-26 Invaders. In late 1952, both aircraft were replaced by Lockheed T-33 jet trainers. Airborne radar operator students would begin their training aboard radar-equipped TB-25 Mitchells, then transition to either Lockheed F-94 Starfire or Northrop F-89 Scorpion aircraft. North American F-86Ds were eventually added to the training program as Air Defense Command (ADC) units were equipped with them. [4]

In September 1957, Tyndall became an Air Defense Command, later Aerospace Defense Command, base until October 1979 when ADC was inactivated and all its bases and units transferred to Tactical Air Command. Tyndall was headquarters of the ADC 73d Air Division in the late 1950s, and the NORAD Southeast Air Defense Sector from 1960 to 1979. Also the ADC 20th Air Division was based at Tyndall, which was responsible for the air defense of virtually all of the southeastern United States during the 1960s and 1970s. The ADC 23d Air Division, also based at Tyndall, was responsible for air defense forces in the upper midwest and south central United States.[4][5][6]

In the late 1950s into the 1960s, the base transitioned into the F-101B, F-102A and TF-102, and the F-106A and B aircraft, training interceptor pilots for ADC assignments. The base served as a stopover and refueling point for ADC aircraft deployed to Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis, to be redeployed to other bases in the southeast shortly thereafter. The base maintained an alert facility from which the F-101 Voodoo and F-102 Delta Dagger interceptors were scrambeled to intercept unknown aircraft. Tyndall shared training for the F-102 aircraft with Perrin AFB, Texas until Perrin AFB's closure in mid-1971.[4]

In the mid-1980s, Tyndall was home to the NORAD 23rd ADS (Air Defense Squadron) and operated the Southeast Regional Operations Control Center (SE ROCC), later renamed Sector Operations Control Center (SOCC).[4]

Modern era

In 1991, Tyndall underwent a reorganization in response to the Department of Defense efforts to streamline defense management. Headquarters, First Air Force, what had predominantly been the Numbered Air Force for the Air National Guard, moved from Langley AFB, Virginia, to Tyndall. With the disestablishment of Tactical Air Command (TAC) in 1992, Tyndall was temporarily transferred to the Air Combat Command (ACC) and then to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) in July 1993. [4]

The 21st century proved to be momentous for Tyndall AFB. The base was selected as the first home of the Air Force's newest aircraft, the F-22 Raptor. 2002 brought more change as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force changed the organizational structure of the 325th Fighter Wing, from an objective type wing to a combat organization. This organization moved all maintenance activities under the 325th Maintenance Group and all support activities under the 325th Mission Support Group. [4]

Tyndall AFB was struck by a tornado in 2003, causing an estimated $250,000 worth of damage to 10 facilities and more than 30 vehicles in the area. No one was injured and base operations were uninterrupted.

Today, Tyndall is the home of the 325th Fighter Wing, providing training for all F-15A/B and C/D Eagle and F-22A Raptor pilots.[4]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the base has a total area of 37.9 km² (14.6 mi²). 37.7 km² (14.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it (0.41%) is water.


As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 2,757 people, 663 households, and 653 families residing on the base. The population density was 73.1/km² (189.2/mi²). There were 663 housing units at an average density of 17.6/km² (45.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the base was 77.79% White, 14.22% Black or African American, 0.47% Native American, 3.08% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.83% from other races, and 4.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.27% of the population.

There were 663 households out of which 81.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 90.8% were married couples living together, 5.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 1.4% were non-families. 1.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 0.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.57 and the average family size was 3.59.

In the base the population was spread out with 37.9% under the age of 18, 17.5% from 18 to 24, 42.4% from 25 to 44, 2.1% from 45 to 64, and 0.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 22 years. For every 100 females there were 121.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 130.7 males.

The median income for a household in the base was $34,191, and the median income for a family was $33,897. Males had a median income of $25,857 versus $19,821 for females. The per capita income for the base was $11,281. About 3.8% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.3% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

See also


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • This article incorporates text from the Tyndall Air Force Base website, which, as a United States government publication, is in the public domain.
  1. ^ Tyndall AFB website units page
  2. ^ Tyndall AFB website
  3. ^ Mueller, Robert (1989). Volume 1: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force, Washington, D.C. ISBN 0912799536; 0160022614
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Tyndall Heritage Factsheet
  5. ^ USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1)
  6. ^ USAFHRA Organizational Records
  7. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links


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