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Thirty Days to Hurricane Season: Tyndall Air Force Base Recovery and Preparation at Risk

Tyndall Air Force Base Grounds_2019_4_30

Tyndall Air Force Base grounds depicting damage from Hurricane Michael. Source: John Conger, April 30, 2019

By John Conger 

Extreme weather is an important face of climate change that is showing itself more and more frequently.  Warming leads to storms with increased energy and increased precipitation, and that can lead to a lot of damage. That’s already the case. For the future, we can foresee that weather patterns will continue to change rapidly, storms will become more devastating, and that we should expect (and plan for) the unexpected.

This understanding and preparation is essential for the critical infrastructure of the United States, and the people who man and depend on that infrastructure. The last year has been particularly devastating to both civilian and military infrastructure, and there’s no way around that fact.

The Department of Defense (DoD), for example, is facing more than $8 billion in recovery costs to address extreme weather damage at Tyndall Air Force Base, Offutt Air Force Base, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, installations that are very important for U.S. military capabilities and livelihoods.

Based on observations from a visit I made to Tyndall Air Force Base on April 30, the base is still feeling the significantly damaging effects seven months after Hurricane Michael. Trees remain stripped bare or snapped in half, roofs are covered with tarps, and many buildings are simply not habitable.  Its F-22 mission has not returned.  At the same time, most of the missions have returned to the base, some in temporary locations; modular buildings have been installed, providing housing for many; and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent to bring it back up to operation.

This is one face of the climate resilience requirement in today’s military.  It is the impact that extreme weather can have.  Reportedly, it is also where the Air Force wants to build its Base of the Future, but looking at the base today, that’s a long way off.

Tyndall Air Force Base is also out of money, desperate for the infusion of cash that is pending in the stalled emergency appropriations bill pending in Congress.  No new projects, including storm repair projects, can be started at the base until the emergency appropriations bill is passed.

That’s a big problem, as Tyndall Air Force Base’s ability to weather the next storm is seriously degraded as it works to recover from the last one. And its only 30 days until hurricane season.


2 Comments

  1. Dr. Vlad Fomin says:

    Hello …. A special greeting to the Director .CCS. John Conger.
    Obviously, thirty days is not enough to organize opposition to the hurricane season.
    In reality, in accordance with the developed methodology and technology, under the guidance of Maria Kan, it will take a little more than three years. In order to stabilize the climate in the Northern Hemisphere – it is necessary – it is necessary (on the recommendation of Maria Kan) – to create an organization dealing with climate problems in the capital of the Republic of Kazakhstan: the city of Nursultan …. former – Astana. Moreover, the created organization should become a member IMCCS Membership – perhaps the established organization – in .. ….. allows free exchange of scientific information with IMCCS and – other members ….. ..
    For this – it is necessary that the Chairman IMCCS -. Tom Middendorp – addressed the relevant proposal to the Chairman of the Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Nursultan Nazarbayev. I have no doubt that Nursultan Nazarbayev will support the initiative of Tom Middendorp. It is obvious that … the faster the designated formalities will be implemented – the smaller the casualties and losses will be brought by humanity. I want to note that Maria Kahn – refused the offer to work in Russia ….
    Thank you for your attention and – I hope for further cooperation …. with respect

  2. Dr. Vlad Fomin says:

    Hello….
    Of course, thirty days is not enough to prepare for the impact of the hurricane season. As the Chairman IMCCS said ….. Tom Middendorp – it is necessary to eliminate the root causes, the result of which will be the negative effects of hurricanes … both on military installations and on the corresponding infrastructure.
    The same position was taken by Maria Kan, who explored the warm currents in the North Atlantic as “root causes” …. A situation arose in which the powerful Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current bring relatively much heat to the east from the North Atlantic … and several warm currents – warming Greenland and the Arctic …. Thus, there is an intensive melting of ice both east and west of the North Atlantic.
    Maria Kahn – developed a verbal and mathematical models, the implementation of which will change the direction and power of currents currently heading west from the middle of the North Atlantic ….. and – reducing the intensity of ice melting ….
    Currently, Maria Kan is taking exams at the University (grades are “excellent”), and at the end of May of this year, she will fly to me in Moscow … where we will deal only with climatology.
    I hope that the organization created in the summer will become a member IMCCS and we will get the opportunity to exchange scientific information with colleagues.
    Thank you for attention; with respect…..

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