Tyndall Air Force Base is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, which is also known as the Emerald Coast. Situated 12 miles east of Panama City in Bay County, Tyndall Air Force Base is home to the 325th Fighter Wing. The Wing provides training for F-22 Raptor pilots, maintenance personnel and battle managers for the combat faction of the Air Force. The 325th Fighter Wing also provides training for F-22 intelligence officers, F-22 crew members and officer and enlisted air traffic controllers. The Fighter Wing also hosts over 30 tenant organizations which are located on base. The 325th Fighter Wing is comprised of the Operations Group, Maintenance Group, Mission Support Group and the Medical Group. Tenant groups include: 1st Air Force, Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, Air Force Research Laboratory, 16th Electronic Warfare Squadron/Detachment 1, 372nd Training Squadron/Detachment 4, 702nd Computer Systems Squadron and System Support Facility. Nearby are another air force base, Eglin AFB, and a naval station.
Construction of Tyndall Air Force Base began in May of 1941. It was named Tyndall Field in honor of a local resident, Lt. Frank B. Tyndall, who was killed on active duty in 1930. Tyndall Field was designated as an Army gunnery training center. In December of 1941 the first gunnery students began arriving for training even before construction was completed on Tyndall Field. Thousands of gunnery students passed through Tyndall’s gates to be trained for aerial gunnery position in World War II. One of the most famous students was Clark Gable who trained there in 1943. Just as they do now, foreign NATO forces trained at Tyndall Field in the early years.
Immediately after World War II, Tyndall Field briefly became inactive. That soon changed when the Air Force became a separate branch of the armed services in 1947. Tyndall Field was renamed Tyndall Air Force Base and became an Air Training Command installation which was designated as a pilot instructor school. Tyndall has changed and grown through several commands, but remained at the forefront for pilot training and today finds itself as the home of the Air Forces’ newest aircraft, the F-22 Raptor.
Amenities and Recreation
Tyndall Air Force base offers many recreational outlets for military members and their families. Ideal year around weather makes it a natural for outdoor activities. Nearby beaches and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and several local lakes provide ample opportunities for boating, swimming, camping, diving and fishing.
Housing on base at Tyndall has been privatized. Those wishing to live on base in one of five distinctive neighborhoods with a total of 840 family housing units must apply and be accepted before they can move on base. Military members will receive their basic housing allowance and are eligible to apply for base housing or rent or purchase their home off base in the local area. Those selecting to live in base housing will pay their rent and deposit to the firm contracted to handle rental agreements for base housing. Rent is according to rank and there is a $250 pet deposit required with a limit of two pets per household.