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Climate Change Threatening Military Bases Across Florida

Hurricane Damage to Hangar 5 at Tyndall Air Force Base_2019

Damaged ceiling of Hanger 5 at Tyndall Air Force Base early in 2019 – a result of Hurricane Michael [Tampa Bay Times photo by Tailyr Irvine]

In a recent Op-ed for the Tampa Bay Times, the Center for Climate and Security’s John Conger highlighted the climate change-related risks that are increasingly affecting the U.S. military in Florida, as well as the broader national security and defense implications of those risks. The piece begins:

Floridians know that climate change is endangering their health, prosperity and communities. A new hurricane season is a reminder that it’s also threatening America’s national security — beginning with military bases right here in Florida.

When Hurricane Michael struck the Panhandle last fall, it devastated Tyndall Air Force Base. Winds of 160 mph ripped off roofs and damaged or destroyed nearly 700 buildings; 11,000 people had to relocate. Forty percent of the base’s F-22s were unready to fly and had to be stowed in hangars that could not protect them. Every plane was damaged.

The article builds on an assessment of risks to the U.S. military in the Center for Climate and Security’s “Military Expert Panel Report: Sea Level Rise and the U.S. Military’s Mission, 2nd Edition, published last year, as well as a series of recent reports from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Government Accountability Office on the military’s exposure to climate change.

Click here for the full article at the Tampa Bay Times.


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