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Turning point: Tyndall breaks ground on ABM Simulator Facility

group of people shoveling dirt

From left to right, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, Tyndall Program Management Office executive director, Theodore Brown with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Moseley, 325th Fighter Wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. Gregory Beaulieu, 325th Mission Support Group commander, Brian Stahl, 325th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy commander, and Lynn Carter, a representative from a construction company, pose for a photo at a groundbreaking ceremony on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 13, 2020. Two years after Hurricane Michael, the Construction of the new Air Battle Manager Simulator building is a major step in rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

man speaks from podium

U.S. Air Force Col. Greg Moseley, 325th Fighter Wing commander, speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Air Battle Manager Simulator building at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 13, 2020. The groundbreaking marks the start of the first new construction on base after the destruction of Hurricane Michael in 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

shovels in dirt

Shovels used for the new Air Battle Manager Simulator building groudbreaking ceremony are present at the construction site on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 13, 2020. The groundbreaking ceremony was highly anticipated after Hurricane Michael damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings on Tyndall in 2018. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Program Management Office and mission partners held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Air Battle Manager Simulator Facility at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 13, 2020.

This event was a milestone for the base as it marked the first groundbreaking of a new construction project on the installation since Hurricane Michael devastated Tyndall and Bay County two years ago.

“The significance of the past weekend for Team Tyndall and the surrounding community is not lost on me,” said Col. Greg Moseley, 325th FW commander. “Saturday marked two years since the area experienced the strongest sustained wind-speed hurricane to hit the continental United States in 25 years.”

The groundbreaking served as a visual reminder of how far the base has come since the storm and as a turning point for Team Tyndall to shift focus to the future.

“Today, as we begin building a new, permanent replacement facility here at Tyndall, we look forward and begin to build the base that we need,” said Moseley. “This groundbreaking is the first of 44 planned construction projects resulting in 120 new facilities over the next several years as we continue to innovate to create a smart, resilient, sustainable 21st-century installation, ready to meet the needs of the Air Force and our nation.”

The construction of the simulator facility is also a major step forward for the 337th Air Control Squadron. Tyndall is the sole training location for the Air Force’s air battle managers, and the new facility will help sustain student output rates.

“It provides secure and safe access to advanced facilities to continue training and posture for the future of combat operations,” said Lt. Col. Donald VanSlyke, 337th ACS commander. “The facility will contain sophisticated simulators that provide high-fidelity training to ABMs to ensure they have the necessary tactical skills prior to moving on to Combat Air Force units.”

The facility is expected to be completed by spring 2022, and construction on many more projects will begin in the near future with plans to break ground on a new Child Development Center in spring 2021.

“The architecture (of the CDC) will be both attractive and built to last,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Melançon, Tyndall PMO executive director. “Just like all critical infrastructure here at Tyndall, both buildings are designed to withstand sustained hurricane force winds of up to 165 mph and a storm surge of 19 feet.”

An endeavor as large as the rebuild of Tyndall requires the collaboration of many different organizations.

“On average an installation receives one military construction project every couple of years,” said Melançon. “We’re going to be executing more than 40 in less than seven years. While the PMO is leading the rebuild on behalf of the 325th Fighter Wing and the air force, there are many other partnerships and key points of collaboration that are critical to meeting the strategic vision for the installation of the future.”

These partnerships and the rebuild ensure Team Tyndall can continue its mission of developing resourceful and resilient Airmen trained to project unrivaled combat air power for years to come.

“Team Tyndall is a critical asset to the nation’s defense and its strategy,” said Moseley. “I am proud of the work we have accomplished to date and look forward to molding Tyndall into the base of the future.”