Air Force announces F-22 fighter jet training unit is moving from Florida to Virginia

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Tyndall Air Force Base was once the home of F-22 Raptors.

But last Friday, Air Force officials announced the F-22 fighter jet training operation, is moving.

“It was ultimately a question of where they want to house the FTU which is what this program is, with an active fighter wing and so Joint Base Langley has that and so they have ultimately chosen to move it up to Virginia,” Bay County Commissioner Doug Moore said.

Military leaders have talked about the future of the F-22 since Hurricane Michael damaged Tyndall.

The jets have been housed at Eglin Air Force Base in Okaloosa County since the storm.

Moore says the decision did not surprise anyone, and this is going to help our area.

“It is actually beneficial to the rebuild of Tyndall because if we still had the planes or if they temporarily housed the planes back here and moved them from Eglin then we would have issues with reconstruction being able to hit the timeline that we need to hit for the F-35 squadrons that will be coming in,” Moore said.

In March, military leaders officially announced Tyndall would be the home to three new F-35 squadrons.

“Tyndall with the Gulf Training Range will continue to be a viable part of our country’s defense,” Moore said.

A short-term loss for the F-22 mission at Tyndall, but a long-term gain with the F-35 coming in 2023.

As for when the move to Virginia will happen, the Air Force does not have a specific date yet. Officials there say they have a lot more planning to do.

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