Air Force Bases Need $4.9 Billion for Hurricane Repairs

The US Air Force requires $1.2 billion in FY2019 and $3.7 billion in FY2020/FY2021 of supplemental funding to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base and recover Offutt Tyndall Air Force Base.

Without supplemental funding, the US Air Force would have to cut critical facility and readiness requirements, driving Air Force wide operational risks and negatively impacting the recovery of Tyndall and Offutt.

Hurricane Michael was a Category 4 storm. It was the strongest to ever hit the Florida Panhandle and it tore roofing from aircraft hangars and mangled buildings at Tyndall. Tyndall is home to 55 stealth fighters and they could cost $339 million each to repair.

Earlier in March, 2019 Missouri River floodwaters breached flooding the southeastern third of the Offutt Air Froce Base. The water inundated nearly 80 buildings and covered more than a quarter of the runway.

Actions & Impacts Without Supplemental

1) Stop Facility Repairs Air Force-Wide: Defers 61 required facility projects at bases in 18 states across the U.S., impacting airfields and critical base facilities.

2) Stop Tyndall Recovery: Stops all new work on Tyndall as of 1 May; delays the return of full base operations, severely impairs flight operations and forces personnel to continue to work in degraded facilities.

3) Cut Aircraft Repairs: Curtails aircraft repairs starting 15 May, grounds five bomber aircraft as early as Sep 2019, and creates long-term backlog for the E-3 aircraft maintenance.

4) Limit Offutt Recovery: Beginning 1 July, defers all Offutt recovery efforts, with the exception of immediate health and safety needs; delays facilities assessment and mitigation efforts, increasing damage from mold and water.

5) Cut Flying Operations: Cuts 18,000 training flying hours
starting 1 September, slowing our readiness recovery.

SOURCES – US Air Force

32 thoughts on “Air Force Bases Need $4.9 Billion for Hurricane Repairs”

  1. I was unclear, but my point is that Tyndal makes no sense at all, it’s very vulnerable. Eglin is much more inshore, less vulnerable to storm surge, and as you point out its a multiple-use facility.

  2. Eglin AFB is there. It’s larger than the state of Rhode Island. Where would you move it to that offers training and testing in a wooded environment? It has several smaller installations on it that would be bases were they anywhere else, such as Air Force Special Ops Command, Army Ranger Training, the Navy’s EOD school, in addition to being a huge development center for air weapons and other aviation needs. It also uses about a vast chunk of the Gulf of Mexico as a testing range (in addition to what the Navy based in Pensacola uses). There is no place else to get this. Occasionally you even see troop carriers assault the beaches and move into the forests. Where else would this be done? Who would you have to displace to get the land? This much land could only be obtained before air conditioning was invented.

    There is also no farming possible in the Florida panhandle. It’s all sand. The navy used to grow trees (live oaks) there back when it needed wood for ships. The Air Force practices land management, ensuring frequent controlled burns and allows some tree harvesting, and even some limited recreational use of the land. It’s also an incredible wild life sanctuary. Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) filmed there on multiple occasions.

    The Army does all it’s helicopter training in lower Alabama and has training landing sites all over the military installations along the Gulf Coast. Eglin’s main flightline does double duty as the local airport, too.

  3. Florida not being in the US means they would have to bear the cost of the consequences of their actions all by themselves.

    Not everyone is OK with endlessly paying to make whole some of the very people fighting with their dieing breath to make the climate problem as bad as possible.

  4. I’ve flown by Tyndall, flying eastbound over the north Florida beaches. The runway is maybe a half mile from the surf, maybe 5 or 10 ft elevation. And there are three or four more US airbases within 50 miles.

    Uh, why are we throwing good money after bad here?


  5. Heh, cool your jets (see what I did there?). No one gets court-martialed for not flying away an empty airplane shell that was mounted on a pedestal in a park, no matter how big the storm is predicted to be.

  6. Because?
    Not being in the USA would prevent storms?
    Leaving the US would mean less USAF aircraft being close enough to land in their backyards during bad weather??
    THey could cut Florida off from the mainland and have it towed to a better climate???

    Where are you going with this?

  7. Hmmm…. one could argue that the economy over even the full extent of the USA has a much higher degree of correlation than the weather does.

  8. Perhaps some pathology is at work. All Obamacare health plans cover mental health and substance abuse services.

  9. I wonder if the locals in Florida have any interest seeking to succeed from the union.
    It might be cheaper in the long run to give them a push and fund some local AM radio ads in support of the idea.

  10. It’s a static display, an empty shell mounted on a pedestal in a park, or at the visitor’s center. You can even see the broken pedestal base right next to it, or maybe it’s the bronze plaque on a little pedestal with information about the type of aircraft.

    Either way, no one flies those away.

  11. Hate to see those smileys turn to frownies, but there wasn’t much danger for anyone from a static display, innocent or evil. Even blog trolls had nothing to fear from this bird.

    That’s an old aircraft shell that was mounted on a pedestal. The Navy and Air Force do a lot of that. The Army tends to use tanks which, admittedly, would probably stand up a bit better in a big storm.

  12. Same reason it makes no financial sense for the federal government to be borrowing money outside of a situation like WWII: The country already constitutes a large enough pool to even out the rate of expenditures.

  13. Again, “e” here is acting as an adjective; You don’t put the “s” on the adjective when you make the noun plural, you put it on the noun.

    Just brought this up because it’s a mistake I used to make myself.

  14. Because a storm’s size can be measured in a dozen different ways

    • Storm diameter
    • Average wind speed
    • Peak wind speed
    • RMS wind speed
    • Total rainfall
    • Peak rate of rainfall
    • RMS rate of rainfall
    • Amount of people affected
    • Value of damage (not inflation adjusted, or population adjusted, or GDP adjusted)
    • etc.

    Plus weather measurement techniques and even statistical data gathering is ever more widespread and detailed.

    So, every couple of months some storm related number, somewhere in the world, will end up giving a “record” (even if you have to cheat and say “the biggest storm EVER…. this year, in this country).

    Cut and paste a bunch of “end-of-the-world, women and minorities to suffer” type boilerplate that was first written in the 1970s and there you go, a news story that can be sent out to the various news services, publishers and stations and you knock off early and go to the bar.

    Then, those stories get massaged to fit the available time and space, and done so by semi-literate interns who have no experience of the world before 2015, and it actually reaches the reader/viewer as “biggest storm ever!!!!!”

  15. How is it that almost every storm that happens gets labeled as ‘the strongest ever to hit’? Whenever I hear that, I instantly smell either a pay out scam or global warming scare scam or both.

  16. Any disaster too big for the government to cover the expense would be too big for the insurance to cover, so there is no point in the government of a major country having insurance.

    …like California’s earthquake insurance!

  17. $5 billion? That’s a LOT of pork!

    My vapor-ware construction company will be happy to offer a contract to do it all for just $1 billion!

  18. It was the strongest ever to hit the Florida panhandle so just incompetence and unpreparedness (Probably an excuse like – “I just followed the handbook!”says the spineless Colonel).

    I would like to see court martials over it, though.

  19. My dad used to work for McDonnel-Douglas Phantom Works (like Lockmart Skunkworks, but with a less cool/funny name) in the 1970s.

    It makes me wince to see that poor thing.

  20. The point of insurance is to cover costs that are too big for you to pay. It spreads the cost over all the insurance company customers & works as long as only a small fraction of the customers get hit with a major insurable expense at once.
    Any disaster too big for the government to cover the expense would be too big for the insurance to cover, so there is no point in the government of a major country having insurance.

  21. “Some”. Most were, I understand, capable of being flown, they were just due for maintenance.

  22. If this is what a hurricane does to our military bases, imagine what a war would do.

    Seriously, though, isn’t it SOP to relocate planes in the path of a hurricane? Sometimes you wonder if our government/military is compromised, and sometimes, (The OPM “breach”) you know.

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