Located at a distance of one mile southeast from Panama City, Bay County, Florida, Tyndall Air Force Base (TAFB) spreads over 28,823 acres. The construction of the air force base started in 1941, taking its name from Lt. Frank B. Tyndall, a World War I hero killed in 1930. Originally conceived as a gunnery school for the Army Air Corps, the air base started to welcome students in 1942, and the following year French and Chinese students joined the American ones. At the end of World War II, the 2,000 troops stationed here were demobilized. In September 1950, Tyndall started functioning as an Air Training Command unit, part of the Air University, and its purpose was to instruct USAF pilots.
Along the years, the air base suffered restructuring, and it was successively part of the Air Defense Command, the Tactical Air Defense Command and the Air Combat Command. Finally, in 1991, the First Air Force headquarters moved from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia to Tyndall. Then the base was transferred to the Air Education and Training Command in 1993. Struck by a tornado in 2003, Tyndall suffered $250,000 losses, but no injuries were reported and the disaster did not manage to interrupt the base operations.
Today, the air base has the mission to train F-15 Fighter pilots and weapons system controllers, and for this reason it is attended by many foreign students. The Air Force Research Laboratory's Materials and Manufacturing Directorate and the Air Force's Air Battle Managers have facilities at this base. Moreover, Tyndall has reached the 325th Fighter Wing training course of F-15 and F-22 pilots. According to the census of 2000, 2,757 people and 653 families resided in the base, out of which almost 40% were children under the age of 18. Also in the region are located the Florida State University f Panama City and the Gulf Coast Community College. Other businesses include the Naval Coastal System, the Bay Medical Hospital, the Bay Industrial Park and the Stone Container. Besides the Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City has other area attractions to offer, like the Zoo World, the Frank Brown Park or the Shipwreck Island Water Park. If either business or pleasure brings you in the area, plenty of lodging possibilities may place you nearby any of these attractions, not to mention the wonderful sugar-white beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.