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Berg’s Experience Takes to the Air

Located in the remote desert surrounding Las Vegas, NV, Nellis Air Force Base has come a long way since 1940 when the dirt landing field was chosen as the site of the “first” American flexible aerial gunnery school. Fast forward to today’s Nellis, which supports five wings and more than 150 aircraft – F-15s, F-16s, F-22 Raptors, A-10s, helicopters, and even remotely piloted models – that comprise the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.

Probably best known as “Home of the Fighter Pilot” Nellis is responsible for advanced combat training, tactics development, and operational testing critical to keeping our forces combat ready. At the heart of this effort are the flight simulators that provide valuable virtual experience for pilots, which replicate real world situations.

Closure Represents Opportunity

Nellis expanded in numbers of both aircraft and troops to accommodate changes resulting from the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program. With 500 extra active-duty service personnel, civilians and reserve airman required to man the more than 20 additional aircraft that were stationed on the base, it was an opportune time to expand and upgrade simulation training capabilities. Taking the lead on the new $12-million BRAC Flight Simulator Facility are designers Black & Veatch, who are providing “an out-of-the-box design that falls within very defined criteria and codes”, and general contractor Straub Construction, with whom Bergelectric was also teamed on the $19.2-million base housing project at Luke AFB in Arizona.

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Securing the Future

While the two-bay high-tech flight simulators are the facility’s focal point, the building also houses an administration area, control rooms and state-of-the-art heating and air-conditioning system to zero in on the specialized equipment and varying needs of the BRAC Flight Simulator Facility. Although Nellis has a history that has been cloaked in mystique—from the unveiling of the stealth bomber to the intriguing Area 51—it’s no secret that the security and welfare of base personnel has always been of paramount importance. In addition to a 5,200-foot medium voltage (MV) duct bank, Bergelectric was responsible for providing electrical power and lighting for critical fire alarm, tel/data and security systems.

Target: Mission Accomplished

Unlike private-sector installations, the Nellis project required closer coordination and management of materials inventory and deliveries due to the secure nature of the base. Assigning staff with appropriate military installation experience played a key role in understanding the base’s requirements.

Bergelectric also relied heavily on in-house detailing and prefabrication departments in handling the electrical installation of this 24,750-s.f. building. Unlike conventional construction, Berg’s electrical work had to primarily take place in a compressed three-month time period once the structure was in place. With this plan of attack completed, Air Force pilots have been in the cockpits of their new flight simulators since June 2008.

Size
24,750 Square Feet

Electrical Construction Cost
$1.8 Million

Duration
August 2007 – March 2009

Delivery Method
Design-Bid-Build

Other Team Members
Straub Construction
Black & Veatch

Berg Regional Office
Las Vegas

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