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Before and after images of Tyndall Air Force Base, located just east of Panama City, Florida. Satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company

Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, causing catastrophic damage to its hangars and buildings — and there are reports of damage to some of the Air Force's newest fighter planes.

Why it matters: Tyndall is one of the largest F-22 bases in the country. Gen. Joseph Lengyel, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told reporters he's heard direct comparisons between Tyndall's destruction and the devastation sustained by Homestead Air Force Base by Hurricane Andrew in 1992 — which was ultimately decimated and turned into a reserve base.

The details: Lengyel told reporters at a briefing on Friday the western eye wall of the storm went over Tyndall, leaving all of the housing "uninhabitable." He said Michael was "a violent wind event ... more like a tornado than a hurricane."

"Roofs have been ripped off buildings, it's fundamentally an unusable airfield, there are maintenance facilities that have been ripped up, housing is ripped up, water doesn't work."
— Gen. Joseph Lengyel
Damage to Tyndall AFB's infrastructure, including fighter jet shelters (top center). Satellite images ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company; NOAA.

The impact: A QF-16 aerial target aircraft was "heavily damaged," according to Defense News, "with its front nose-cone sheared off, as well as a hangar with an F-22 inside and its roof largely missing... as many as ten F-22s may have been damaged by the storm."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The big picture: According to Defense News, "damage to the F-22s should be largely repairable, but repairs will be costly." Defense Secretary James Mattis has prioritized increasing F-22 readiness by 80% over the next year, which the publication cites as "a number well above the mission capability rates those aircraft now achieve."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

All of the airmen that were assigned to ride out the storm at the base are safe and accounted for, according to the Commander of Air Combat Command, Mike Holmes. However, he describes "significant and widespread damage to the base" and advises that it isn't safe to return.

Go deeper

Capitol repairs, security top $30M since Jan. 6 attacks

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Architect of the Capitol Brett Blanton on Wednesday said that repairs and security expenses related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have already cost more than $30 million.

The state of play: Congressional appropriations committees have allocated the $30 million for repairs and perimeter fencing around the Capitol building through March 31, per NPR.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

White House stands by imperiled Tanden nomination after Senate panel postpones hearing

Neera Tanden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is postponing a confirmation hearing scheduled Wednesday for Neera Tanden, Axios has learned, a potential death knell for President Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

The latest: Asked Wednesday afternoon whether Tanden has offered to withdraw her nomination, Psaki told reporters, "That’s not the stage we’re in." She noted that it's a "numbers game" and a "matter of getting one Republican" to support the nomination.

Acting Capitol Police chief: Officers were unsure of lethal force rules on Jan. 6

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Acting U.S. Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman wrote in prepared remarks for a House hearing on Thursday that officers in her department were "unsure of when to use lethal force" during the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Why it matters: Capitol Police did deploy lethal force on Jan. 6 — shooting and killing 35-year-old Ashli Babbit — but have faced questions over why officers appeared to be less forceful against pro-Trump rioters than participants in previous demonstrations, including those over Black Lives Matter and now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.