Speeches and Floor Statements

75th anniversary of MacDill Air Force Base

f t # e
Washington, April 14, 2016 | comments

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay. With much of the world engulfed in conflict in 1939, the War Department selected Tampa to house a new military air field which would go on to become MacDill Air Force Base. With Tampa’s natural and strategic location, MacDill has grown and expanded over its 75 years serving as a testament to our nation’s military might and Tampa’s dedication to supporting the brave men and women of the Armed Services. Officially activated on April 16, 1941, MacDill trained World War II airmen to fly and operate bombers including the B–17 Flying Fortress and the B–26 Marauder. Throughout the Second World War, MacDill saw thousands of servicemen train to lead the force in the dangerous skies over Europe. From start to finish, MacDill played a critical role in our country’s great military achievement. After World War II, the bombers gave way to fighters when MacDill became a Tactical Air Command. The turmoil in the 1960s again highlighted the strategic importance of MacDill’s location. Throughout the Vietnam War and up until the first Gulf War in 1991, Tampa became a home for the F–4 Phantoms and later F–16 Fighting Falcons. Between 1979 and 1993, about half of all F–16 fighter pilots trained at MacDill Air Force Base. Currently, MacDill houses the 6th Air Mobility Wing and 39 Mission Teammates, including U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. MacDill is home to more than 13,000 military and civilian personnel and about 170,000 retirees live in the Tampa area and depend on the base for many necessary services. MacDill remains a vital economic driver and a source of good paying jobs for Tampa Bay residents. MacDill extends the global reach of U.S. air power through global air refueling and airlift operations and is a mission our community embraces. In facing our nation’s ongoing and future national security challenges, I am confident that MacDill will continue to play a vital role in protecting the safety of our families and all Americans. Tampa is proud to host and I am honored to represent MacDill Air Force Base every day and today on its 75 year anniversary.

f t # e