On October 10, 2018, at about 5:30 pm, Hurricane Michael, a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of more than 160 mph made landfall on the Florida panhandle.
The hurricane caused more than $25 billion in damages across the panhandle, including the complete devastation of Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB). While every major structure at Tyndall was damaged or destroyed, no service personnel were lost and almost all the aircraft of the 325th Fighter Wing, as well as the F-22 Raptors stationed there as part of the Global Strike Force, were moved out of harm’s way.
Rebuilding Tyndall was never a question.
Wood River Federal responsibilities
Systems administration services
Cable and antenna system services
Network engineering services
Electronic security system services
Rather than be a hindrance to the future of Tyndall AFB, Hurricane Michael actually accelerated the US Air Force plans for the "installation of the future"
While the government and its prime contractor are doing much of the work, Wood River Federal has been instrumental in the rebuild and recovery. They partnered with BB&E Consulting Engineers (Northville, MI) and GC&E Federal (Georgia) under a sole source contract to provide staff that augmented many of the rebuilding needs.
In addition to supporting the 325th Fighter Wing, Wood River Federal supported the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (53WEG), First Air Force (1AF), and Air Forces Northern (AFNORTH), which are all based at Tyndall AFB as well.
To accomplish its responsibilities, Wood River brought on 14 new, full-time people to be onsite at Tyndall.
Because Florida never shutdown and new members of their team came from other parts of the country, Wood River Federal was able to avoid any potential issues surrounding the pandemic shutdown and the remote location of Tyndall AFB.
“We filled all 14 positions within 30 days,” says Emerson. “We had no issue finding qualified people who wanted to be a part of this effort.”
They have supported the rebuilding efforts with services that include:
- Staff augmentation
- Network cabling and infrastructure
- Construction surveillance
- Security system support
- Real property management
- Systems administration
Wood River Federal’s role in the base’s recovery continues until today. Emerson said that as Tyndall has recovered, and as work has been accomplished, they have ramped down the number of people they need at Tyndall.
Tyndall AFB is on the road to becoming fully operational and Wood River Federal has helped make that possible. Tyndall’s new F-35 Lightning II mission is even on time for its 2023 debut.
“We have been a part of the U.S. Air Force keeping its future mission capability at the base on time,” says Emerson.