Tyndall to Host First Exercise Since Hurricane Michael Ravaged Base

F-16 Fighting Falcons pilots assigned to the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing conduct preflight checks at Tyndall AFB, Fla., on Sept. 17, during Combat Archer, a two-week air-to-air Weapons System Evaluation Program to prepare and evaluate operational fighter squadrons' readiness for combat operations. Air National Guard photo by SSgt. Shane Hughes.

The 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group at Tyndall AFB, Fla., will host its first live weapons evaluation since Hurricane Michael nearly destroyed the base in October.

During Combat Archer, which runs Dec. 3-14, F-22s from the 27th Fighter Squadron at JB Langley-Eustis, Va., and F-35s from the 58th Fighter Squadron will fire live weapons.

The exercise will include QF-16s from the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron, with the 81st Range Control Squadron providing command and control, and the 53rd Test Support Squadron providing electronic attack pods.

The F-22s and F-35s will fly out of nearby Eglin Air Force Base, and the live firing will be conducted in warning areas of the Gulf of Mexico south of Tyndall.

The 83rd Fighter Weapon Squadron will conduct data collection and analysis at Tyndall, according to a 53rd Wing release.

The Air Force announced earlier this month that the 53rd WEG will remain at the Florida base, and it recently received its first QF-16 after the storm hit.