Slow and Steady Builds the F-35A Lightning II Flightline

Zone 1 is the single largest military construction contract on record in the Air Force database. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $532 million contract towards 12 construction projects that will have direct impact on the incoming F-35A Lightning II mission.

Beginning in September 2022, construction on the Zone 1 complex has furthered the transformation of Tyndall into a high-tech, robust fighter wing. Built to meet the needs of current and future forces by incorporating resilient infrastructure, innovative designs, and novel technology, Tyndall will be able to equip Airmen to execute the mission of today and tomorrow.

“Currently, a lot of earth work is taking place,” said 1st Lt. Eric Long, Air Force Civil Engineer Center/Natural Disaster Recovery Division Zone 1 assistant project manager. “They’re doing surcharge right now, which is essentially placing large amounts of dirt on top of where the buildings are planned to be. This helps consolidate and squeeze out all the water in the soil to create a stable building area. Once the surcharge is removed, they will start putting foundations in.”

A construction worker torch cuts a sheet pile during construction on Zone 1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 9, 2023. Beginning in September 2022, construction on the Zone 1 complex has furthered the transformation of Tyndall into a high-tech, robust fighter wing built to meet the needs of current and future forces. By incorporating resilient infrastructure, innovative designs, and novel technology Airmen will be equipped to execute the mission of today and tomorrow.
A construction worker torch cuts a sheet pile during construction on Zone 1 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 9, 2023. Beginning in September 2022, construction on the Zone 1 complex has furthered the transformation of Tyndall into a high-tech, robust fighter wing built to meet the needs of current and future forces. By incorporating resilient infrastructure, innovative designs, and novel technology Airmen will be equipped to execute the mission of today and tomorrow. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim)

To save costs in the construction process, work is being done to re-use and re-cycle from preexisting resources around the zone. This includes the dirt from surcharging, water extracted from the ground, unexpected materials in the ground, and previously laid concrete from the flight line.

“Right now, the project is focused on Hangar 1 delivery so we can bring in the F-35s,” said Melissa Lewis, AFCEC/NDR Division Zone 1 project manager. “Everything is built in a dominoes effect. Anything that happens to Hangar 1 will then happen to Hangar 2, then 3, then the rest of the 12 projects.”

Zone 1 includes several aircraft hangars, a maintenance complex, group headquarters, aircraft parking aprons, aircraft support equipment storage, a corrosion control facility and an F-35A flight simulator training facility. Total completion is scheduled for January 2026.

Grout is pumped into an auger cast at Zone 1 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 9, 2023. As the “Installation of the Future,” modern flight line facilities will play a major role in supporting Tyndall’s incoming F-35A Lightning II mission.
Grout is pumped into an auger cast at Zone 1 on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, June 9, 2023. As the “Installation of the Future,” modern flight line facilities will play a major role in supporting Tyndall’s incoming F-35A Lightning II mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Nordheim)

“Even though this is such a large project, everything has been running smoothly because of the relationships and smooth communication we have with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Engineers, contractors, and users,” said Lewis.

As each day passes, an immense amount of work is being done to transform Tyndall into the ‘Installation of the Future’. Zone 1 completion will be a huge accomplishment so the 325th Fighter Wing can project unrivaled combat airpower for America!