EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --
In April 2015, the Air Force selected Eielson Air Force Base to become the first operational overseas location for the F-35A Lightning II.
On March 29, Col. David Mineau, the 354th Fighter Wing commander, officially broke ground for the F-35 beddown; less than a year after the initial selection was made.
“The ground breaking for the flight simulator is the first major military construction project in the F-35 beddown,” said 1st Lt. Brett Brunner, the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron F-35 construction project manager chief. “The ceremony is both for this facility and the entire project at large.”
The flight simulator will allow the initial F-35 pilots, who arrive to Eielson approximately six months before the first aircraft arrive, to maintain many of their flying currencies and skills during the half-year gap. It also allows them to train against modern threats in a highly-realistic environment.
The F-35 beddown project is expected to cost $550 million and take place over the next three years. Construction and renovations have already began and Eielson is preparing to support 54 F-35s and approximately 3,500 Airmen, contractors and their families.