The United States Air Force is setting aside half a billion dollars in installation tweaks at Eielson Air Force Base over the next half decade to make room for two new squadrons of the controversial F-35 Lightning II.
According to NewsMiner, the 46 new additions or changes will include hangars, munitions igloos and recreational facilities such as a larger Exchange or possibly a craft brewery.
“Regardless of whether it ends up being a brewery or something else, with the additional population here, we’re going to be looking to bring other quality-of-life initiatives down here,” he said.
354th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Mike Winkler says that about $37 million in construction on a six-bay simulator building is planned for this year, with over $296 million in projects planned for 2017.
The Air Force does not expect the construction to interfere much with traffic along the west end of the base.
“We’re working closely with the Department of Transportation to make sure we’ve got a safe way to re-orchestrate that traffic so we’re not causing backups back there,” Winkler said.
Fifty-four F-35s will arrive at their new home sometime around 2020.
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