Tyndall celebrates the opening of four new fire facilities

  • Published
  • By Venessa Armenta
  • Tyndall Air Force Base Public Affairs

Team Tyndall celebrated the construction of four fire facilities, Sept. 27, 2023, at Tyndall Air Force Base.

The four new facilities are the first buildings to be completed and officially transferred from contractors to the U.S. Air Force since the base was devastated by Hurricane Michael almost five years ago.

The 325th Civil Engineer Squadron and the 801st Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer Training Squadron, held separate ceremonies to mark these monumental milestones. 

“Completing these buildings provides the unit with permanent operational facilities, purposely designed to enhance their training efforts and withstand future storms,” explained Col. Robert Bartlow, Air Force Civil Engineer Center natural disaster recovery division chief. “These facilities are constructed to withstand 165 mph winds and built above the projected storm surge levels.”

The day began with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 801st RHTS fire contingency training facility, one of three reconstructed structures completed for the unit. The other two buildings are a vehicle maintenance facility and a heavy equipment storage hangar.

“These facilities will help to extend the life span of our vehicles by protecting them from the elements,” explained Master Sgt. Dennis Scott, 801st RHTS fire contingency training section chief. “As I walked through the buildings, I notice the new technology that has been implemented and I know it will help make our processes more efficient.”

Later in the day, the 325th CES fire department held a decoupling ceremony at Fire Station #2 to symbolize the station becoming home to the unit and its members.

“This is a momentous occasion for the fire department. Hurricane Michael ravaged our previous fire stations, which left our personnel and emergency vehicles without a secure shelter for five years,” said Kevin Remedies, 325th CES fire chief. “Firefighters spend as much time at a station as they do at home, so Fire Station #2 and future stations will provide the quality of life these brave men and women deserve.”

The 13,480 square-foot station includes a new alerting system, ten bunk rooms, a full kitchen, fitness area along with many other quality-of-life amenities. The garage consists of a three-bay vehicle garage, where Tyndall’s first ladder truck will soon be housed.

“I want to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed to making this day a reality,” said Col. George Watkins, 325th Fighter Wing commander. “From the architects and construction teams to our tireless firefighters and the entire Tyndall community.”