TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE — Three squadrons of F-35 fighter jets could come to Tyndall Air Force Base, according to federal and state officials.

Each squadron contains 24 planes, equaling a total of 72 jets coming to Tyndall. The number of new airmen coming in is currently unknown but is expected to be “in excess” of 2,000, Rep. Neal Dunn said. The F-35s are expected to come to Tyndall by 2023.

“That’s some great news. It’s an impressive number,” said Dunn, who has advocated for Tyndall before and after Hurricane Michael. “It’s great for our community. It’s vitally important to national security.”

F-35s are a fifth-generation fighter aircraft and “more capable electronically” than other aircraft, Dunn said. The F-35 combines “advanced stealth with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment,” according to the aircraft’s website.

As for the F-22s previously housed at Tyndall, the combat portion will no longer operate out of Tyndall and instead will be dispersed to three other squadrons, Dunn said. The Air Force will go through a “formal process” of deciding whether to leave the F-22 training portion at Eglin Air Force Base or bring them back to Tyndall, said Dunn, who added the training portion belongs in the Gulf Test Range in Florida.

“Tyndall is coming back,” Dunn said. “We’re also working on the Navy base.”

Tyndall public affairs directed a request for comment to the Air Force press desk. A news release from the Air Force stated they are "recommending that Congress use supplemental funding for rebuilding the base to prepare to receive the F-35 fighter at the north Florida installation."

"The Air Force has done a preliminary evaluation to confirm Tyndall AFB can accommodate up to three F-35 squadrons," the Air Force news release stated. "If this decision is approved and supplemental funds to rebuild the base are appropriated, F-35s could be based at Tyndall beginning in 2023.  Basing already announced in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin will not be affected by this decision."

More than 2,000 personnel have since returned to the base and the Air Force intends to keep the testing, air operations center, and civil engineer missions at Tyndall, according to the Air Force news release.

Carol Roberts, President and CEO of the Bay County Chamber of Commerce, called the decision "great news."

"It’s extremely exciting not only for Tyndall but for Bay County," said Roberts. "The economic impact to the area is going to be huge."

The exact economic impact is currently unknown. The announcement is "huge" in light of Hurricane Michael and is a positive story everyone can share, said Roberts, who added Tyndall is critical to the local economy.

Gov. Rick Scott celebrated the news on Twitter.

"Great news - @TeamTyndall will be the future home of 3 squadrons of F-35s," Scott's tweet read. "I spoke to @SecAFOfficial last night & she assured me that the Air Force is committed to rebuilding Tyndall AFB. We’ve been working for months & will continue to work until Tyndall gets fully rebuilt."

Sen. Marco Rubio recently wrote an editorial about the importance of rebuilding Tyndall, saying "Florida is uniquely positioned to enhance our military’s readiness."