Red Tails Posturing for Fifth Gen Mission

  • Published
  • By Staff Sergeant William Blankenship
  • 187th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

The Red Tails have begun a structural modernization movement to set the stage for the upcoming F-35A mission at Dannelly Field, Alabama.

New facilities currently under construction include a 100th Fighter Squadron operations building and a civil engineering storage space. More than $80 million in construction is planned to be completed in the coming years.

“The new, 23,000 square foot operations facility is set to be a state-of-the-art structure,” said Maj. Adam Sanders, the Red Tails’ civil engineering commander. “From simulator bays to SCIF areas for debriefs, the whole design puts us in position to do great things. There will be multiple construction projects on base coming up.”

In addition of the operations building progress, the 187th’s civil engineering team will house an equipment staging center for the first time. Construction for that project is currently underway.

“We are expecting an influx of equipment with the F-35 coming and this project puts us in a place to be prepared and ready before that happens,” Sanders said.

Both the operations building and the equipment staging facilities are expected to complete in the next 12 months, with further installation advancements leading up to the 5th Generation aircraft’s arrival.

“Our day to day focus remains, as it must, on our current mission delivering combat ready Airmen and aircraft,” said Col. Ed Casey, 187th Fighter Wing vice commander. “And we execute that mission with precision. The preparations underway on base ensure that Airmen are set up to bring that same precision to our future mission.”

The 187th Fighter Wing expects the F-35As to begin arriving at Dannelly Field in late 2023.