Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A Program Management Office has been established by the Air Force at Tyndall Air Force Base to lead redevelopment and reconstruction efforts there, which are expected to take more than five years and cost about $3 billion.
The PMO will be responsible for leading the redevelopment and reconstruction efforts at the base after it sustained devastating damage in October from Hurricane Michael, the U.S. Air Force said in an update Wednesday.
The immediate goals of the PMO include assessing facility damage, determine what is still usable, preserve capability and start fast-tracking redevelopment tasks -- including planning for a long-term vision of the base's redevelopment.
The base, in Florida's Panhandle region, is the home of the U.S. Air Force's 325th Fighter Wing and its F-22 Raptor stealth fighter planes. It suffered severe damage from the hurricane, notably the loss of roofs on many of its buildings.
An engineering cleanup mission called Task Force Phoenix began immediately after the hurricane. It included the disposal, by detonation, of ammunition stored in a collapsed building.
"We were able to safely extract those munitions without anything accidentally going off, without anybody being injured, and then disposed of them," Col. Pat Miller, Task Force Phoenix Commander with Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, told WECP-TV, Panama City, Fla.
It was determined that the recovery of facilities will take about five years and cost about $3 billion, including rapid repair of some buildings and construction of temporary structures. The temporary buildings are expected to arrive this week.
The roof of the F-22 flight simulator building, the first new roof to be installed, has been a priority. It has been completed, the Air Force announced on Wednesday, and the building is scheduled to be finished by mid-January.
"The work that lies in front of us is extensive, but the PMO office [program management office] will ensure the Air Force has a 21st century installation to carry out the missions of today and the future," said Col. Scott Matthews, Tyndall AFB PMO director. "One of our top priorities has been ensuring our warfighters have been able to return to workplaces safely in this process."
Tyndall AFB will essentially be rebuilt to accommodate current and future needs.
"We are really excited about being able to implement a 21st century installation," said Amy Vandeveer of the U.S. Air Force Safety Center. "We have multiple opportunities that will make this installation good for the next 70 to 80 years. Tyndall will be leading the way."