A Record of Decision was issued by the U.S. Air Force, making Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, the official location to host three new squadrons of the F-35A Lightning II.
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 Air Force 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 Air Force to rebuild the base to accommodate the unique needs of the F-35A.
“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,” said Col. Greg Moseley, 325th FW commander.
The F-35s will be delivered to three fighter squadrons in multiple phases, with the first aircraft planned to arrive in September 2023. Each of the squadrons will have 24 Joint Strike Fighters assigned; totaling 72 aircraft assigned to Tyndall’s 325th Fighter Wing once 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 U.S. 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.
“The airspace surrounding Tyndall is a national treasure,” said Moseley. “The type of training conducted here integrates the DoD’s most advanced aircraft and builds a dynamic force.” As threats evolve and change around the world, the 325th FW and Air Combat Command must train daily to deter and defend against any threat.
“Air dominance is critical to the National Defense Strategy and basing F-35s at Tyndall will only further our service’s air superiority goals for 2030 and beyond,” said Moseley.