Tyndall Air Force Base Guide
Found in Bay County, Florida bordering the Gulf of Mexico on the Florida Panhandle, service members are abundant at Tyndall Air Force Base. Not far from Panama City, the area is a popular destination for military families and tourists alike. It is most well-known for the white, sandy beaches, turquoise waters and plentiful recreational and natural attractions. There are about 3,000 active duty service members in the area as well as their families. Thousands of civilian employees and veterans call the area home.
Learn more about Tyndall Air Force Base services, housing, education, childcare, and important contact numbers for the base below.
Tyndall AFB History
With origins as a gunnery school southeast of Panama City, Florida, that school was established in 1940 with Colonel Warren Maxwell as the first commander at Tyndall. Not long after, in 1941, the first couple of thousand troops made their way to what was known as Tyndall Field where they began their first aerial gunnery class.
After serving a vital role in WWII efforts, the base was restructured as Tactical Air Command. It was then repurposed as the Air University, which by 1950 was used as the USAF Pilot Instructor School. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, it served as a refueling station and the NORAD Southeast Air Defense Sector headquarters from 1960-1979. By 1980, the inactivated units became part of Tactical Air Command.
In 1991, after 50 years in service, the 325th Fighter Wing established itself as the installation host. Tyndall was restructured again and affiliated with the Air Combat Command, followed by the Air Education and Training Command in the early 1990’s. This union solidified the site as a dominant air combat and training force. Tyndall AFB continues to host training for F/A Raptor pilots, air traffic control, and weapons control. Today, Tyndall AFB continues to serve as a premier site for air combat training.
Tyndall Air Force Base is in the sunny Florida Panhandle in Bay County near Panama City. The Gulf Coast site teems with outdoor and water activities for independent adventurers and for tourists. Regular year-round tours include dolphin-watching tours, catamaran tours, and even snorkeling tours. Panama City Beach and Mexico Beach are favorites. Visitors can snorkel, surf, fish, and hike while enjoying the Pacific weather all year long.
Nearby attractions and things to do include:
- Dolphin Cruises
- Catamaran Cruises
- Shell Island
- Pier Park
- Panama City Beach
- Zooworld Zoological Conservatory
- Self-Guided Bicycle Tours
- Cypress Springs EcoAdventure
Mission and Units
The primary mission of Tyndall Air Force Base is to serve as home to the 325th Fighter Wing. The 325th Fighter Wing focuses on combat air power to carry out its missions.
- 325th Civil Engineering Squadron
- 325th Communications Squadron
- 325th Comptroller Squadron
- 325th Contracting Squadron
- 325th Fighter Wing
- 325th Force Support Squadron
- 325th Logistics Readiness Squadron
- 325th Maintenance Group
- 325th Maintenance Squadron
- 325th Medical Group
- 325th Medical Operations Squadron
- 325th Medical Support Squadron
- 325th Mission Support Group
- 325th Munitions Squadron
- 325th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron
- 325th Operations Group
- 325th Operations Support Squadron
- 325th Security Forces Squadron
- 325th Training Support Squadron
- 337th Air Control Squadron
- 372nd Training Squadron, Detachment 4
- 43 Fighter Generation Squadron
- 43rd Fighter Squadron
- 44th Fighter Group
- 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group
- 702 Computer Systems Sqdn. & Sys. Support Facility
- 801st RED HORSE Training Squadron
- 95th Fighter Squadron
- Air Force Civil Engineer Center
- Air Force Office of Special Investigations
- Airey NCO Academy
- Canadian Forces Detachment
- HQ 1st Air Force
In-Processing and Check-In
Contact your gaining unit for check-in instructions. If you have not already, as soon as you arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base, make sure to get in touch with your sponsor. If you do not have a sponsor, get in touch with your unit’s command support staff and you will be directed. Everyone arriving at Tyndall, must go through a debriefing and welcome.
Make sure to show up in the appropriate uniform and have orders, identification and any receipts for temporary housing as well as relocation expenses in hand at 325 FW Headquarters Building 647. Briefings are held regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 am, but those arriving other days will be given instructions upon arrival until a briefing can take place.
The Child Development Centers at Tyndall AFB serve children from six weeks to five years old for full and part-time care by accredited programs and trained staff. Check in for availability ahead of time in case there is a waiting list. Fees are based on income, and some may qualify for free care for a limited time.
If child care is unavailable through the Child Development Center, Family Child Care may be available. From newborn children to five-year-olds, FCC can offer full and part-time care in the home of a trained caregiver. These homes can care for up to six children. Summer camps and after school programs can also be optional for families. Family Child Care can be reached at (850) 283-2218.
Reach out to the CDC at Tyndall AFB to apply for a spot or be placed on the waiting list at (850) 283-2226.
Privatized housing is available at Tyndall AFB but may be very limited. Before choosing housing options, check in with support staff to verify all available options through the Housing Management Office at (850) 283-2737.
Tyndall AFB Homes has multi-room floor plans in walkable communities with standard communities. To inquire about availability and status of restoration, call (850) 286-1700.
Tyndall AFB Commissary
220 Mall Lane, Suite 1
Tyndall AFB, FL 32403
The commissary at Tyndall AFB offers standard staple food and necessary supplies. Many departments at the commissary take custom orders for special events with advance notice, including the grocery department. For special events, the deli, bakery, and produce departments can arrange for party trays, fruit baskets, vegetable trays, and even cakes and cupcakes. Call (850) 283-4825 to place an order.
PCS and TDY Lodging
For those in need of temporary lodging upon arriving at Tyndall AFB, service members are referred to Sand Dollar Inn, part of the Air Force Inn system. First, visit the arrival point at building 36191, marked as Lodging/Billeting, at 599 Suwannee Road. It is always recommended to reserve temporary lodging ahead of time in case of low availability. Maintain financial receipts of lodging expenses in case they are reimbursable.
This facility has free laundry access and is non-smoking. Some rooms may allow pets but availability is limited. Inquire ahead of time if arriving with a pet. San Dollar Inn can be reached at (850) 283-4211.
Tyndall AFB Transportation
For service members arriving by air, the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport is the closest to Tyndall AFB. You can arrange for a taxi or ride-share ride from the airport, or make other arrangements in advance with your sponsor. The ride will be about half an hour from the airport.
If driving to the area, heading into the Florida Panhandle, you will head toward Panama City using Highway 98, sometimes referred to as Tyndall Parkway, or Interstate 10. From I-10, head south to Panama City and follow signs to Tyndall AFB using Highway 98, the only way to access the base by road.
On base the only transportation options will be personal vehicle, and base taxi. Base taxis can be reserved in advance at (850) 283-9340.
Vehicle Registration And Driver’s License
To drive a privately owned vehicle or POV on base in Florida, you will need to comply with state and local laws. These regulations include carrying the minimum liability insurance, having a valid driver’s license, and ensuring safety belts are worn at all times, including safety seats for children under five years of age. These rules are enforced for cars, vans, trailers, and motorcycles.
Many are required to register their vehicles with the state of Florida and obtain a Florida driver license as well. Typically, you have 30 days to make this transition. The driver’s license requirement will not apply to active duty service members if they have a valid driver’s license from their home state. Florida may require a vision test to secure a Florida driver’s license. Driver’s licenses in Florida cost $48 and need to be renewed every six years.
Tyndall AFB Schools
Currently there are no Department of Defense schools for young students on Tyndall AFB. For this reason, most students, Pre-Kinder through 12th grade, will attend class in the local Bay County School district.
Students should attend the school closest to their address to receive busing services, however, the district is part of a “School Choice” program, allowing parents to choose. If you choose a school that is not your local school, parents will need to provide their own transportation for the student. Students living at Tyndall Air Force Base, should attend Tyndall Elementary and finish at Rutherford High School. The school district includes 42 schools total from elementary to high schools and 3 specialty schools.
To register, be sure to have your child’s previous school records, immunization record, proof of parent identification, proof of current address and other potentially relevant information in hand and available. Contact the school liaison officer for questions or to find special needs or special talents programs within the district at (850) 283-2220.
Tyndall AFB Colleges and Universities
For service members interested in furthering their education, the learning hub for Tyndall AFB is the Tyndall AFB Education Center. Tyndall AFB Educational Center offers information and test preparation to start your journey as well as the need-to-know requirements to apply for college.
Gulf Coast State College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Troy University have on and off-base class options for classes that lead to an associates, bachelor or even master degree, although the content focus differs.
Troy University’s degree programs feature management, psychology, counseling, international relations and public administration courses. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University focuses on aeronautics and technical classes with flexible evening and weekend sessions. Florida State University offers research partnerships between the local community and military campuses to fortify applicants’ education as well as community ties. Visit the Tyndall AFB Educational Center to find the program that works best for you at (850) 283-2295.
Related: Ultimate GI Bill Guide
445 Suwannee Road, Building 662
Tyndall AFB, FL 32403
- Adult Education Center (850) 283-2295
- Barracks/Single Service Member Housing (850) 283-2740
- Child Development Center (850) 283-2226
- Commissary (850) 283-4825
- Housing (850) 283-2737
- School Aged Care (850) 283-2227
- School Liaison (850) 283-2220
- Temporary Lodging (850) 283-4211
- Welcome Center (850) 283-9927
- Youth Programs (850) 283-2227
Related: Ultimate Military Benefits Guide
About the author
Kena Sosa is an award-winning author, filmmaker and percussionist. She
earned her BA from OLLU and her MBEGT from SMU. She published two
award-winning children’s books. Kena has written for CBS/DFW Local and
Multicultural Review Magazine. She was the Guest Editor for the Fall/Winter
2023 ChildArt Magazine issue. Kena has written for Recon Media since 2023.