By Taylor Koopman, Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs
/ Published December 06, 2019
From left to right, Jonathan Carr, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Resident Engineer; Col. Travis Leighton, Tyndall Air Force Base Program Management Office director; Maj. Peeter Pleake-Tamm, Tyndall AFB PMO Execution division chief; and Lt. Col. Chris Lazidis, 325th Fighter Wing F-35 Project Integration Office director, discuss future locations for F-35 Lightning II squadrons during a PMO design charrette, or detailed planning session at Tyndall AFB, Fla., Dec. 4, 2019. By September 2023, Tyndall AFB will receive their first F-35 fighter jet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Veronica Kemeny)
After Hurricane Michael hit Tyndall Air Force Base in October 2018, the Air Force and the Army forged a partnership with a single vision in mind: to build the “Installation of the Future.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has become an important ally as the Tyndall AFB Program Management Office rebuilds the base.
“The Tyndall PMO requires amazing partners to rebuild the base,” said Brig. Gen. Patrice Melancon, Tyndall AFB Program Management Office executive director. “We are essentially building a base from scratch, which is unprecedented in recent history. One of these amazing partners is USACE, South Atlantic Division, in Atlanta, Georgia, led by Tab Brown. His dedicated team of Army Engineers work shoulder to shoulder with my team. They have been here from Day One with the cleanup and demo.”
USACE provides many services for the Air Force, including humanitarian assistance and responding to natural disasters. Prior to Hurricane Michael, the USACE Engineers existed on the base to implement a small number of construction projects on a limited basis.
“Now the team is working with the Tyndall AFB PMO and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center to complete 42 military construction projects,” Melancon said.
By the end of the calendar year, the team will have completed 25 charrettes, or detailed planning sessions, to design the base of the future. One of the PMO engineers working on the rebuild is Maj. Peeter Pleake-Tamm, execution division chief, who oversees the weekly design charrettes with USACE.
“The first wave of design charrettes is set to finish in December,” Pleake-Tamm said. “In January, we will move on to design review, and then go on to begin the second wave of charrettes in April.”
While Pleake-Tamm has worked with USACE before, he notes it has never been so extensive.
“USACE brings to the table a very robust portfolio of capabilities,” he said. “Their flexibility and willingness to completely engage with us and having them here to support us in completing such a huge amount of MILCON (military construction) projects has been paramount to the rebuild.”
Working with the PMO team on this historic project has been exciting for Chuck Ford, USACE project manager forward.
“Maj. Pleake-Tamm has been especially instrumental in providing the information we need when we need it, coordinating with the appropriate people to get the master plan done, and in finding the correct base agencies for us to work with,” Ford said. “It takes a team effort. Everyone knows their roles and responsibilities, and because of that we are able to work efficiently to deliver a cutting-edge final product on schedule.”
The rebuild of Tyndall AFB is a massive project in both size and scope. In fiscal year 2019, the base awarded nearly 10 times more operations, maintenance and military construction funding than in a normal year.
“Both the current mission of generating airpower for the Air Force, as well as the new mission of Tyndall (AFB) evolving to be the ‘Installation of the Future,’ exist simultaneously,” Melancon said. “The PMO team is working diligently to produce a base that is resilient, adaptable and technologically advanced.”
The Tyndall AFB USACE Team is currently comprised of 10 team members and is projected to grow to 50 when construction begins.
“We have a true partnership with the PMO team,” said Jonathan Carr, USACE resident engineer. “Due to the unique circumstances, we are more involved in the design charrettes and overall construction process. The PMO knows they can rely on us to not only listen to what they need and get the job done, but to do it right and on time.”
With crucial partners like the USACE working alongside the PMO, Tyndall AFB is on track to become a 21st century leader for the Air Force, Melancon said.
“USACE leads a major part of the design and construction of our plan to ensure it becomes a reality,” she said. “The PMO is successful because of the USACE team. We are building an ‘Installation of the Future’ that will be here for the next 100 years, and we are leading the way for other bases to follow.”
For more information on the progress the Program Management Office at Tyndall AFB is making on the rebuild at the base, visit https://www.afimsc.af.mil/TyndallPMO/.