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New Pilot Training Facility Underway at NAS-CC

Breaking ground for the new facility are Nate McQueen, AECOM project manager (left); Capt. Jeremy Rifas, commodore, Training Air Wing 4; RDML Robert Westendorff, Chief of Naval Air Training; Capt. Chris Jason, commanding officer, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi; Capt. Scott Starkey, CNATRA chief of staff; and Cmdr. Eric Hass, NASCC public works officer. Courtesy US Navy photo by Fifi Kieschnick

Groundbreaking for a new state-of-the-art facility designed to streamline flight training processes was held at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi recently. The modernized P-450 Consolidated Squadron Operations, Academic and Flight Training Facility will consolidate Training Air Wing 4 with its squadrons’ staff in one building next to the flight line.

Naval aviators have trained at NAS-CC since May 1941, just months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. About 400 new pilots graduate each year from TW4 and enter the naval fleet. Some of the more famous pilots graduating from NAS-CC over the years include President George H.W. Bush and Astronauts Alan Shepard, John Glenn, and Neil Armstrong.

“We are excited to begin the construction of the new P-450 Consolidated Squadron Operations, Academic, and Flight Training Facility,” said Public Works Department Construction Manager Laura Burnett. “This is the first building of its kind to be constructed on base since the completion of the Flight Simulator – Building 83, in 2012.”

Currently, Training Air Wing 4 is located away from the airfield in Building 1824, which was constructed in 1972, which was when Naval Air Training Command headquarters moved to Corpus Christi. Four squadrons will be collected in the facility: Training Squadrons 27, 28, 31, and 35. Those squadrons currently work out of hangers constructed in 1941.

The $44.2 million project will include building a three-story, 116,920 square-foot facility, which is expected to be completed in 2022. It will include modernized workspace for staff and squadron personnel in the T-6B and T-44C undergraduate flight training programs. It will be able to support 1,072 personnel, including 670 student naval aviators.

“Bringing the team together in a single, state-of-the-art facility will streamline processes and considerably increase efficiency of our operations,” Training Air Wing 4 Commodore Capt. Jeremy Rifas said. “It will eliminate redundancies and improve communication flow up and down the chain. Furthermore, this amazing building will provide these hard-working aviators the workplace they deserve – clean, bright, solid air conditioning, and be able to withstand all the weather Corpus Christi can throw at it.”

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