Senator Bill Nelson is setting his sights on making sure that the Tyndall Air Force Base is rebuilt after touring it Sunday morning and seeing the destruction left by Hurricane Michael.
Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times, Senator Nelson commented that “The base is destroyed,” and he noted that his “judgment as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee” is that it should be rebuilt because “it is located strategically next to the very critical gulf testing and training range.”
As resources and funds being pouring in to assist with supplies and rebuilding the areas affected by the Hurricane, Senator Nelson stresses the need for the base to be rebuilt because “It is a vital component of our national defense.”
The base is south of Panama City, and there was widespread destruction.
Ann Stefanek, spokeswoman for the Air Force, commented that the Tyndall leadership took initiative in moving “every aircraft they were able to prior to the hurricane.”
Stefanek further explained that “A number of aircraft were left behind in hangars due to maintenance or safety reasons, and all of those hangars are damaged. We anticipate the aircraft parked inside may be damaged as well, but we won’t know the extent until our crews can safely enter those hangars and make an assessment.”
Nelson informed that the commander of the base told him that one of the first tasks “is to get it safe enough so that families that had to leave so quickly can come back and claim their possessions.”
Currently involved in his reelection bid, the debate scheduled for Tuesday will not take place because Governor Rick Scott backed out to focus his attention on hurricane relief. In turn, Senator Nelson has also shifted gears and is focused on assisting in any way possible.
A rescheduled date has not been announced for the debate.