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The US Department of Defense has released a video with extensive damage at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The base was hit directly by Hurricane Michael, causing damage that one officer described as "catastrophic." (14th of October)
AP

PENSACOLA, Florida – While Florida's political leaders urged the Trump administration on Tuesday to prioritize the rebuilding of the hurricane-damaged Tyndall Air Force Base, the fate of Unknown billions of dollars worth of stealth bombers.

Experts said up to 22 of the F-22 Raptors, which cost an estimated $ 330 million, could be left behind in hangars as Hurricane Michael raced through the region. The base, comprising 55 of the world's most advanced fighter jets, flew 33 aircraft from the storm to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

"Currently we do not know how much damage is left to the F-22s left for maintenance or security, but more information will be available as soon as crews are able to enter the hangars and aircraft to judge, "said US Representative Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., whose Fort Walton Beach district includes nearby Eglin Air Force Base.

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Said he could not announce the number of planes left behind in Tyndall. Like Gaetz, Nelson said the jets were left behind because they were being serviced and unable to be flown.

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Retired Air Force Colonel John "JV" Venable, Senior Research Fellow for Defense Policy at the Heritage Foundation and former Commander of The Air Demonstration Team of US Air Force Thunderbirds said it makes sense that the Air Force does not say exactly how many of the jets were left behind.

"The Air Force does not want to reveal its weakness to anyone," he said.

I watched the scenes of destruction in Tyndall and knew the F-22s were left behind, "Venable said.

But moving jets that could not fly out of Michael's path would not have been a realistic option, said

"It would have been too much muscle power in too short a time," he said.

A 95th FighterSquadron pilot from Tyndall Air Force Base starts preparing for the Flying an F-22 Raptor, the newest Luftwaffe fighter, at the Ämari Air Base in Estonia in September. (Photo: Tech. Sgt. Ryan Crane / US Air Force)

Venable said the F-22 are too tall to be transported on cargo planes or flatbeds Stay back and risk their lives as the monster storm advances.

"There are certain things you can not control, and the weather is one of them," Venable said who was the leader of the Basiskrä fte announced that it had safely evacuated 11,000 airmen, basic personnel and their families.

Air Force officials said they should be able to rescue some components of the jets, but Venable said the biggest concern was whether seawater would infiltrate the interior of the aircraft.

"I'm afraid that's where most significant damage will occur," he said. Retired Naval Captain Sterling Gilliam, a seasoned navy pilot and director of the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola, said it was not uncommon that some aircraft were unwilling to leak due to a hurricane evacuation from maintenance issues.

"In this case, the larger number of non-mission-capable aircraft (22 out of a total of 55 F22 assigned to Tyndall) is a bigger problem of overall fleet-wide F-22 Raptor readiness," he said.

Nelson, US Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., And US Representative Neal Dunn, R-Fla., Have sent a letter to Trump asking them to rebuild Tyndall. Trump visited the damage in Tyndall on Monday.

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Nelson previously said he expects Tyndall to remain open. He said any fears that Tyndall might be closed after the storm, like Homestead Air Force Base in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, are unfounded.

"(Tyndall) is an important part of our national defense," he said, lying on the ground in the hurricane zone Sunday.

Residents in the severely affected area said that keeping the base open was crucial to the nation's defense "If Tyndall Air Force Base were closed, it would be appalling for Bay County's economy," said Edwin Walborksy, lawyer with practice in Panama City and Pensacola

"The economic impact would be unpredictable, "he said.

On the Air Force The Tyndall Air Force are seen run-down trees Base after Hurricane Michael near Mexico Beach, Florida, Friday, October 12, 2018. (Photo: Gerald Herbe rt, AP)

Nicholas Kilcoyne, a sort of Jack-of-All wheel in Bay County, said the situation with Tyndall's future has a lot of people on needles and needles because of its regional economic size.

Kilcoyne, who lives in Panama City Beach and is a bartender and marketer, helped clear the rubble on Tuesday in Tyndall

He is not sure if Panama City can really stand the strain on Hurricane Michael's destruction. Add the possibility that Tyndall will not re-open and "I could not imagine," said Kilcoyne.

"That would have such a negative effect," he said. "Panama City could just give up."

How To Help: How To Help People On The Way Of Hurricane Michael

Some Florida panhandle companies can never recover after Hurricane Michael

Education: Schools shut down over the Panhandle, 45,000 children are missing class after Hurricane Michael

Post: Wayne T. Price, Florida Today

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