Unmanned F-16 jets are flying again at Tyndall Air Force base on Florida's Panhandle, and for many it's a welcome sound. Four months ago, the base took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael. The storm's 155-mile-per-hour winds toppled forests, shredded buildings and left the base a mess with its future in doubt.
Now the Air Force says it is rebuilding Tyndall to be the air base of the future. Officials say the rebuilt base will be resistant to storm surges and to wind speeds up to 180 miles per hour and is expected to cost some $3 billion.
Tyndall is one of the nation's largest Air Force bases and is in a key location, next to the Air Force's testing and training range over the Gulf of Mexico. But that location also put it in the path of one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to hit the continental U.S.
When Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson visited the base just four days after the hurricane, she was awed by the destruction. "It's going to take time to recover," she said. "Anybody who can see this base even from where we're standing can see the substantial damage done by this terrible storm." (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the NPR radio.