Michael's aftermath: Commissary agency focuses support on Tyndall
Note: For photos on DeCA’s Flickr page related to the damage sustained by the Tyndall Commissary from Hurricane Michael, go to
FORT LEE, Va. – In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, the Defense Commissary Agency has shifted its resources to support the Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, community as it recovers from the storm’s destructive impact.
In the days to come, agency engineers and other support staff will assess the damage to the Tyndall Commissary and determine what’s needed to assist the base community, said retired Rear Adm. Robert J. Bianchi, DOD special assistant for commissary operations.
“Tyndall suffered a direct hit, and we are working with the base to determine the best process for restoring commissary operations there,” Bianchi said. “We will do whatever is possible to support the Tyndall community in the aftermath of Michael.”
There is no timetable for the restoration of commissary services at Tyndall as the base continues clearing roads and working toward restoring power, water and sewage services. On Oct. 17, the base allowed restricted access to airmen and family members to assess the damage to their homes and collect belongings.
In the meantime, DeCA is bolstering the product inventory at nearby commissaries to help support displaced airmen and families from Tyndall. Commissaries at Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field have already responded to requests from base officials at Tyndall for items such as Gatorade, canned meats, bottled water, batteries, tuna, diapers, assorted health and beauty products and cereal.
Hurricane Michael made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Oct. 10 with winds in excess of 150 mph and that also impacted Georgia and Alabama before moving northeast as a tropical storm to dump torrential rains on South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.
Before the storm hit, DeCA officials were already making preparations with their product suppliers to ensure their stores had the necessary provisions to support patrons before and after Michael, said Ronald A. Yoder, DeCA’s chief of store operations.
“All stores in the path of Hurricane Michael started steadily increasing orders the week before the storm to ensure plenty of safety stock would be on hand to support shopping needs,” he said. “Essentials to include water, batteries, charcoal, canned goods, baby needs, cleaning supplies and more are all closely monitored and extra supplies are on hand. Our teams have been in constant contact with local suppliers to ensure increased requirements can be met as needed.”
Other than Tyndall, only the commissaries at Hurlburt Field in Florida and Albany in Georgia sustained any damage. However, both commissaries, along with the rest of DeCA stores in the hurricane’s impact area, reopened immediately after the storm.
Commissary patrons at Tyndall are asked to stay connected to their installation website and social media outlet for overall base access information and to their commissary webpage for any changes to their store’s operational status.
-- By Kevin L. Robinson, DeCA public affairs specialist
About DeCA: The Defense Commissary Agency operates a worldwide chain of commissaries providing groceries to military personnel, retirees and their families in a safe and secure shopping environment. Commissaries provide a military benefit, saving authorized patrons thousands of dollars annually on their purchases compared to similar products at commercial retailers. The discounted prices include a 5-percent surcharge, which covers the costs of building new commissaries and modernizing existing ones. A core military family support element, and a valued part of military pay and benefits, commissaries contribute to family readiness, enhance the quality of life for America’s military and their families, and help recruit and retain the best and brightest men and women to serve their country.