Ground bro­ken for Fighter Wing's train­ing cen­ter

Pro­ject at the Tulsa Air Na­tional Guard Base is part of Vi­sion Tulsa

Tulsa World - - Our Lives - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

City and mil­i­tary of­fi­cials on Satur­day broke ground on an Air Na­tional Guard Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter at the Tulsa Air Na­tional Guard Base, 9100 E. 46th St. North.

It was the first ground­break­ing held for a Vi­sion Tulsa eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment pro­ject.

“The City of Tulsa and the 138th Fighter Wing have an im­por­tant re­la­tion­ship, and you see that re­flected in th­ese Vi­sion Tulsa funds which were ap­proved by vot­ers to im­prove upon the Ok­la­homa Air Na­tional Guard's fa­cil­ity,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a news re­lease.

“We are proud the men and women of the 138th Fighter Wing call Tulsa home, and we want to do our part to en­sure they have all the tools they need to de­fend our coun­try.”

The 20,000-square-foot Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter will house four state-ofthe-art flight sim­u­la­tors to pro­vide re­al­is­tic com­bat train­ing for fighter pi­lots, the re­lease said.

The 138th Fighter Wing in Tulsa will be the first Air Na­tional Guard unit in the coun­try to re­ceive this cut­ting edge tech­nol­ogy.

Only in­stalled at a select few Air Force bases, the Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter will be a re­gional train­ing fa­cil­ity — the only one of its kind in the area, with the clos­est sim­i­lar fa­cil­ity be­ing in Las Ve­gas.

In ad­di­tion to Bynum, Ad­ju­tant Gen­eral of Ok­la­homa Brig. Gen. Louis Wil­ham, and 138th Fighter Wing com­man­der Col. Ray­mond H. Siegfried III at­tended Satur­day's event.

“The City of Tulsa has pro­vided us a tremen­dous op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand our com­bat ca­pa­bil­i­ties,” Siegfried said. “Our re­la­tion­ship with our com­mu­nity is like none other. Their pa­tri­o­tism and sup­port will al­low us to main­tain air su­pe­ri­or­ity for years to come.”

The pro­ject has been made pos­si­ble through a fed­eral, state and city part­ner­ship. The build­ing will be con­structed us­ing $9.4 mil­lion in Vi­sion Tulsa funds; road im­prove­ments for the Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter will be pro­vided with $608,000 from the State of Ok­la­homa, and fed­eral fund­ing will pro­vide the $25 mil­lion F-16 Com­bat Air Force Sim­u­la­tors.

Cock­pits for the sim­u­la­tors, worth $5 mil­lion, will be man­u­fac­tured lo­cally in Bro­ken Ar­row at L3 Tech­nolo­gies.

Ok­la­homa architecture firm LWPB of Nor­man was cho­sen to lead the de­sign for the Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter, and Cross­land Con­struc­tion Co. of Tulsa was cho­sen as the con­struc­tion man­ager. The train­ing cen­ter is sched­uled for com­ple­tion in De­cem­ber 2018.

“The Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter is good news for Ok­la­homa,” Gov. Mary Fallin said. “Once it's in op­er­a­tion, the over­all pay­roll and ben­e­fits will be be­tween $2 mil­lion and $3 mil­lion an­nu­ally for 11 to 15 full-time em­ploy­ees. An added ben­e­fit is that the Mis­sion Train­ing Cen­ter will not only train the 138th Fighter Wing's pi­lots, but will be used by F-16 pi­lots through­out the Air Force, bring­ing in pi­lots from across the coun­try.”

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