Florida's Tyndall Air Force Base suffered catastrophic damage when Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Sunshine State.
ripping roofs off airplane hangars, tossing vehicles around a parking lot and leaving a fighter jet that had been on display flipped over on the ground.
The base "took a beating," Col. Brian Laidlaw said in a letter posted Thursday night to the 3,600 men and women stationed at the base located 12 miles east of Panama City.
The storm reportedly ripped off the roofs of airplane hangers, tossed vehicles, and flipped a fighter jet.
The Air Force evacuated the base in advance of the storm's arrival Wednesday afternoon.
"I will not recall you and your families until we can guarantee your safety. At this time I can't tell you how long that will take, but I'm on it," Laidlaw wrote. "We need to restore basic utilities, clear our roads of trees and power lines, and assess the structural integrity of our buildings. I know that you are eager to return. I ask you to be patient and try to focus on taking care of your families and each other."
Michael was a strong Category 4 hurricane as it lashed the base, which is between Panama City and Mexico Beach.