75 years serving in the Tampa community

  • Published
  • By Trevor Godbolt
  • 6th Air Mobility Wing public affairs
With MacDill's 75th birthday approaching next spring, we take a look into MacDill Air Force Base, Florida's mission over the years and how it has been an integral part of the Tampa community for nearly 75 years.

MacDill is named in honor of Col. Leslie MacDill, a pilot in the Army Air Corps who died in a BC-1 plane crash shortly after taking off from Bolling Field, D.C. in 1938. Shorty after the accident, Secretary of War Harry H. Woodring announced his decision to rename Tampa's Southeast Air Base in MacDill's honor.

In its earlier years, MacDill AFB's mission was different than it is today. Its first mission was transitional training in the B-17 Flying Fortress. By the end of the war, MacDill had hosted a number of aircraft including the B-17, B-26 and the B-29.

Today at MacDill, the 6th Air Mobility Wing performs air refueling, airlift, and contingency response missions for the U.S. and allied forces around the globe. The 6th Air Mobility Wing is home to the KC-135 Stratotanker and Gulfstream C-37A executive transport jet. MacDill is also home to the U.S. Central and U.S. Special Operations Commands

Since its establishment, MacDill has been significant in the financial growth of the Tampa Bay community. Employing 15,000 military personnel and 2,800 civilians, MacDill has approximately a $4.9 billion annual impact on the community.

MacDill impacts more than just the economy. South Florida is home to many retired service men and women. Military pride runs deep in this community. The amount of pride that the city takes in MacDill is limitless. For the past 75 years, MacDill has received tremendous support from the Tampa community.

"We embrace the military men and women as if they are one of our own family members making sure to always provide positive support whether it be in words of encouragement or helping a member in need. MacDill AFB is and always will be a part of our Community," expressed Teresa Foss, MacDill Alliance Vice-Chairman.

The community showed its appreciation for MacDill by honoring the base for its 75 years of service at a Tampa Bay Lightning game. The Lightening presented MacDill with its own custom jersey and donated $50,000 to the Tampa Chamber of Commerce for MacDill's 2016 airshow.

MacDill has been an important part of the Tampa community for 75 years and the relationship with the community will only continue to grow.