According to the New York Times, Tyndall is home to 55 stealth fighters, “which cost a dizzying $339 million each.” Before Michael hit, the Air Force evacuated at least 33 of the planes to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, however they would not comment on the status of the remaining 22 fighters.
After Hurricane Michael rendered Tyndall Air Force Base a “complete loss” from “widespread, catastrophic damage” – questions remain over nearly two-dozen F-22 Stealth Fighters which are unaccounted for.
Air Force officials have not disclosed the whereabouts of the remaining 22 planes, other than to say that a number of aircraft were left at the base because of maintenance or safety reasons.
But photos and video from the wreckage of the base showed the distinctive contours of the F-22’s squared tail fins and angled vertical stabilizers amid a jumble of rubble in the base’s largest building, Hangar 5.
Another photo shows the distinctive jet in a smaller hangar that had its doors and a wall ripped off by wind.
F-22s are notoriously finicky and, as the Times puts it “not always flight-worthy.” The Air Force reported earlier this year that just 49% of F-22s were mission ready at any given time – the lowest rate of any fighter in the Air Force. The total value of the missing fighters is around $7.5 billion.
The eye of Hurricane Michael traveled directly over Tyndall, peeling back storm proof roofs like tin cans and flipping over an F-15 fighter jet display at the base entrance.
The last Air Force Base to suffer catastrophic damage was in 1992, when Category 5 Hurricane Andrew slammed into Homestead Air Force Base just south of Miami with winds estimated at 150 m.p.h. Two years later it was reopened as a smaller, Air Force Reserve base.
Zero Hedge.com / AB Flash Point News 2018.