TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $532 million construction contract May 10 to Hensel Phelps to deliver 11 projects that directly support flightline operations for the F-35A Lightning II aircraft slated to arrive at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, in September 2023. Accounting for contingencies and contract oversight, this represents a $604 million investment in the #BuildTyndallStrong effort and is the single largest military construction contract on record in the Air Force database, which dates back to 2008.
The Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Natural Disaster Recovery Division, part of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center enterprise, is leading the rebuild, partnering with USACE to support the 325th Fighter Wing and its F-35 Program Integration Office to deliver the strategic vision of Tyndall as the Installation of the Future (IotF).
The flightline facilities will directly support the 325th FW and its new F-35 mission, said Col. Travis Leighton, NDR division chief.
“The rebuild gives us the unique opportunity to reimagine how we accommodate the needs of the F-35,” Leighton said. “We’re leveraging cutting-edge technology to increase cybersecurity and perimeter defense, enhance base safety and equip Airmen to execute the missions of today and tomorrow.”
The NDR division’s Tyndall Program Management Office is overseeing more than 40 new military construction projects spanning 12 zones. The flightline facilities are part of Zone 1, which includes several hangars, a maintenance complex, group headquarters, aircraft parking apron, aircraft support equipment storage, a corrosion control facility and an F-35 flight simulator training facility.
This project also incorporates Tyndall’s robust IotF efforts. All facilities will be constructed to a minimum design wind speed of 165 mph, have finished floor elevations which account for up to seven feet of future sea level rise and incorporate numerous smart building technologies such as occupancy sensors.
Tyndall’s 325th Civil Engineer Squadron has already begun renovation work on several buildings to support F-35 operations, but the start of Zone 1 construction, which is slated for late summer 2022, is a significant milestone for F-35 mission beddown activities at the installation.
“The NDR, AFCEC, AFIMSC, USACE and our team at the 325th are all driving at a shared goal; to ensure our new F-35A mission has the required capabilities for operational readiness,” said Col. Greg Moseley, 325th FW commander. “Beginning Zone 1 construction is another step toward that goal, and will ensure Tyndall continues to be the home of air dominance.”
“Tyndall’s reconstruction, as part of the NDR Program, is one of many major worldwide Air and Space Forces infrastructure efforts underway,” said Brig. Gen. Mark Slominski, AFCEC built infrastructure executive director and chief of the facilities directorate. “In partnership with Department of Defense engineer organizations such as USACE and the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, we will have put $2 billion of construction on contract in just the past six months. Our teams epitomize the motto 'Execution Inspires Confidence,' as we join numerous stakeholders synchronizing built infrastructure design and construction to enable weapon systems to launch from our power projection platforms.”
AFCEC began F-35 beddown support in 2013 after the Air Force identified the first installations to host the next generation fighter aircraft. To date, AFCEC has completed the beddown programs at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and Hill AFB, Utah, and is leading multiple construction projects at Luke AFB, Arizona; Eielson AFB, Alaska; and Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.
The rebuild team was already exploring opportunities to turn the Tyndall flightline into a high-tech resource in March 2021 when the Air Force announced the Florida installation would host F-35 squadrons.
“This is what we’re here for,” Leighton said, “to provide the expertise and support installations need to quickly recover from natural disasters, to help the Air Force transform installations into 21st century weapons systems and enable commanders to remain focused on their missions.”
To learn more about the Tyndall rebuild effort, visit the Tyndall Program Management Office web site.