PILOT PROGRAM | NevadaAppeal.com

PILOT PROGRAM

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

The Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center has taken a big leap into training future generations of Navy pilots.

The Navy conducted a ribbon cutting last week for NAWDC's new $28 million Air Wing Training Building, which is adjacent to the current building that was constructed in the 1980s.

"This is the building of the future," said Rear Adm. Daniel L. Cheever, commander of NAWDC, who, along with "Air Boss" Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller III, commander, Naval Air Forces/commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, cut the ribbon.

Cheever, who assumed command of NAWDC one year ago, said the facility will train carrier air wings to determine their strengths and weaknesses.

The new 55,000 square foot facility, according to NAWDC, will train carrier air wings "in an integrated environment from mission planning, briefing, execution to debrief at security levels needed to ensure they are ready for the modern military threat."

Capt. Leif Steinbaugh, NAWDC's director of training, said the building will house the Joint Control Facility, two large theater-style auditoriums that can accommodate 100 people each, two large classrooms, two 65-person theater-style debriefing rooms, multiple planning area, office space and smaller classrooms and briefing and debriefing areas.

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To become the training facility of the future, the building was designed with modern audiovisual capabilities and an information technology network. Steinbaugh said carrier air wings will be tested for their strengths and weaknesses. According to NAWDC, the additional outfitting cost for audio-visual the electronic security system and furniture totals $12 million. It is expected the building will be operational by the end of the year

Straub Construction, Inc., was awarded the contract on Sept. 16, 2015, to construct the new facility, which consists of a building using structural concrete, masonry, structural steel, SCIF perimeter construction and site development. The California-based company was also awarded in August the contract for another Air Wing Training Facility that will support desk-style aircraft simulators, Virtual Aegis Combat simulators, F-35 Mission Rehearsal Trainers, and unmanned aerial system simulators, E-2D simulators and support spaces. The estimated construction cost is $18 million, and the building will be half the size of the one recently completed.

Regional Manager Steve Zohner said construction will begin sometime this autumn and take upward to 18 months to complete.