Tyndall Air Force Base suffered catastrophic damage when Hurricane Michael tore through the Florida Panhandle, ripping roofs off airplane hangars, in consequence of which one F-22 Raptor was damaged.
While the vast majority of Tyndall’s operational aircraft were evacuated from the base before the storm, some aircraft were left in base hangars for maintenance or safety reasons, said Erica Vega, a spokeswoman for the Air Force’s Air Combat Command. The extent of the damage to the planes was still unknown Friday, she said, but all of the hangars at the base suffered severe damage.
Among these aircraft, there is also an F-22, one of which was damaged as a result of the fall of a part of the hangar’s design on the wing of the plane.
The local source reported that was F-22 Raptor fighter jet slightly damaged and after a short repair will become into service. Probably four F-22 Raptors from the 43rd Fighter Squadron were unable to fly out of the way of the storm and left at Air base, but the source did not know how many planes were at Tyndall storm.
Also, the Air Force Forum page, has said that three Raptors were in one hangar that had significant damage, according to the forum, and a fourth rode out the storm in a separate hangar that seemed to sustain less damage, based on imagery on the forum. The Air Force would not confirm that the F-22s were damaged in the storm.
Tyndall AFB is home to the 325th Fighter Wing, whose primary mission is to train F-22 Raptor pilots and maintenance personnel.
It also hosts a number of QF-4 and QF-16 target drones. On 8 October, several days ahead of the storm, the base ordered aircraft evacuated to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Texas.
The base remains closed as trees and power lines block nearly every road, says Tyndall. As of the evening of 12 October, power and basic utilities were out. Initial assessments by the USAF concluded the base will require extensive cleanup and repairs.
But, 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs has reported that Air Force Special Tactics Airmen with the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron assessed, opened and controlled air traffic at Tyndall Air Force Base.
Special Tactics Airmen have the ability to assess, open, and control major airfields to clandestine dirt strips in any environment, including those that have been impacted by a natural disaster.
The Special Tactics Airmen cleared and established a runway at 7 p.m., Oct. 11, and received the first aircraft at 7:06 p.m.
— Joseph Dempsey (@JosephHDempsey) 12 October 2018