Sheppard Air Force Base is gearing up for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's visit Wednesday morning. The senator will be on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Operations Group Facility. It will benefit the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training program (ENJJPT).
A few minor touches need to be added to the facility, but for those that call the 40,000 plus square foot facility home, the excitement is contagious.
"The folks that get to move in here are excited, the folks that don't get to move in
are jealous," said Bryan Schrass, Division Chief of Academics and Simulation.
Each of the flags inside building represent a country involved in the ENJJPT program. To this year it has delivered 6,400 trained combat pilots to our NATO allies. But here was never one building, one place, that allowed everyone to come together. Now there is.
"The is going to give the Operations Group Commander for the first time the ability to have both himself and his staff in the same building," said Schrass.
"They're currently spread all across the wing in three different locations so they've been looking forward to it for a long time to all be consolidated underneath the same roof," said 2nd Lt. Sara Harper, Sheppard AFB Public Affairs.
It cost $20 million. It has an auditorium that can fit up to 500, classrooms and offices. In total 120 people will move in there. It is just phase one of a three phase project.
"The next phase we hope to build is the flying training facility," said Schrass. "The final phase is to build a new wing headquarters."
It will all depend on funding from congress. The facility is also LEED silver certified for its energy efficiency. It's a very high rating. The building takes into account all kinds of environmental factors. The method of building will be used as a model for future facilities.
The ribbon cutting ceremony is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. Stay with Newschannel 6 for highlights of the ceremony.