By Tom Kreidel, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
NORFOLK (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic awarded a $10 million contract Sept. 17, for the construction of the U.S. Navy's Aerial Target Operations Facility at Naval Air Station Oceana-Dam Neck Annex in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
According to Sam Griffith, Fleet Target Support branch head of the Atlantic Targets and Marine Operations (ATMO) Division at Patuxent River, this new facility will replace a 1950's era metal clad building that had seen significant corrosion over the years. The building is currently used for aerial target operations and maintenance.
"The facility will accommodate aerial targets designed to emulate a variety of different threat weapons to be employed in controlled scenarios," he said. "Navy personnel will train in threat detection, reaction and engagement with currently deployed weapon systems as well as acquire data for testing new weapons systems."
He adds the current functionality and facility layout has multiple functions required to operate and maintain aerial targets spread out over several different buildings separated by significant distances. The project will consolidate all aerial target functions into a single facility. The end result will allow air target operators to provide vital support enabling more efficient and effective training for both warship and carrier air wing personnel.
When completed, the new facility will increase the aerial target capability from a single target type to three different target types.
According to Glenn Jackson, project manager with NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic, the contract was awarded to Walbridge Aldinger Co. and is due to be completed in late 2016.
Jackson adds that this project was designed with an in-house design and acquisition team from NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic and was a consolidated effort from several areas of the command including Environmental, Financial Management, Capital Improvement and the Public Works Department Oceana Facilities Engineering and Acquisition Division.
"We worked with ATMO, the base commander, along with many others to support the design effort that made this project possible," Jackson said.
He added due to the building's proximity to the ocean front, the operation and construction efforts of the project will be coordinated to ensure the dunes near the project are not disturbed and the project won't create any wetland impacts to the beach area near the site.
"Not one drop of water will leave the project site from the new building," he added. "All water runoff will be contained on site during and after construction.
The project is set to break ground in November.