PANAMA CITY, Fla.– It has been almost 8 months since Hurricane Michael and Tyndall Air Force base still sits in ruins.
While the Panhandle continues to wait for federal funding, leaders in Washington want to remind citizens that the area is not forgotten. “It’s extremely critical that we get Tyndall rebuilt,” said Acting U.S. Air Force Secretary, Matthew Donovan.
His second day on the job, the new Acting United States Air Force Secretary, Matthew Donovan, visited Tyndall Air Force base. Secretary Donovan flew into the base Sunday morning to see the damage for himself. For Donovan, Tyndall holds a much deeper meaning.
“I was just looking at an old photo of me taken with all my folks, about 300 folks in front of that hangar and I can tell you, it doesn’t look anything like it does today,” he said.
Secretary Donovan served 31 years in the air force and spent 6 of those years at Tyndall. After seeing the devastation alongside city and county leaders and high ranking airmen, he said it’s heartbreaking but the future of the base is not lost.
“There’s a lot of good memories here, and we’ll make sure the memories continue for airmen to follow,” said Donovan.
Donovan made a speech to county leaders and fellow airmen and along with touching on his own time at Tyndall, he went on to say that he believes federal funding is not far.
“The congressional delegations from Florida have been very, very helpful with us in carrying the message up to the hill so as I said, we’re consciously optimistic that we’re pretty close, and we’ll hopefully get that passed here in the next few days,” said Donovan.
Visiting Tyndall Air Force base was his first official business since taking over the position of secretary and Donovan said it was a necessary trip.