Skip to main content


Conquering Catastrophe: KBR’s Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts at Tyndall Wins Federal Planning Division Award

Abstract dots forming world countries

Conquering Catastrophe: KBR’s Hurricane Michael Recovery Efforts at Tyndall Wins Federal Planning Division Award

Publish Date:
12 Oct 2021

On Oct. 10, 2018, Tyndall Air Force Base sustained a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle and only the fourth Category 5 on record to hit the U.S. Nearly half of the approximately 500 base buildings and operational structures were destroyed or damaged beyond repair.

KBR personnel arrived on site within 48 hours to assess the damage and immediately began working around the clock to restore the base. KBR performed extensive debris removal, repaired hundreds of facilities, trained personnel, ensured the U.S. continued to have premier air dominance force for NORAD, and saved nearly 4,000 assets worth $6 billion. The company also assisted with airfield management to keep the flight line open for additional supply and relief efforts.

The unprecedented collaboration between KBR, the Air Force,  U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, industry partners and local agencies was the linchpin in the recovery efforts. The American Planning Association (APA) Federal Planning Division recently recognized this hard work with a Citation Award for an Outstanding Federal Planning Project.

The association – focused on planning and land management for federal properties – highlighted the government-industry team for its sustainability, quality urban design, innovative problem solving and effective planning processes.

“To receive this award from APA is a true honor,” said KBR Senior Vice President Ella Studer. “It speaks to our emergency planning experience and risk management efforts that overwhelmingly met critical needs in a time of uncertainty and are poised to be an example to others in the future.”

Throughout the journey, KBR managed various projects to rebuild the base. The company removed 792,450 cubic yards of debris, enough to fill the U.S. Capitol rotundas almost 17 times over. KBR also worked with the Air Force to replace 816,157 square feet of roofing, which is equivalent to about 14 football fields. Other tasks included developing installation facility standards and working with local entities to implement and adopt a project management information system.

KBR has been proud to work toward the next chapter of Tyndall’s transformation since its recovery. The DoD even announced it will bring the F-35 Lightning II aircraft to Tyndall by 2023. To support this strategy, the Air Force will invest $3 billion to transform Tyndall into the DoD’s first Installation of the Future.

“Our work at Tyndall is a remarkable story about how the government and industry partners came together to accomplish a unique and urgent mission,” said Studer. “When Hurricane Michael ripped through the base three years ago, it was a chance for teamwork to conquer catastrophe – and we succeeded.”

To read more about how the U.S. government and industry saved Tyndall Air Force Base and the lessons they learned, visit

Explore Related Job Opportunities

The people of KBR change the world every day, providing the intelligence to solve any challenge. If you’re up to the task, we want you on our team.

Search Openings
Back to top
Cookie Policy