Ground broken for Fighter Wing's training center
Project at the Tulsa Air National Guard Base is part of Vision Tulsa
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.”