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Providing Resources to Support F-35

As the next generation of short takeoff/vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft, the F-35 made aviation history.  Combining agile and lethal fighter features with supersonic speed and radar-evading stealth, this fixed-wing fighter will permit its pilots and combat forces to land in a wider variety of places—from damaged air fields to virtually “every…amphibious big-deck ship…”

Leading the charge on construction of the F-35 JSF Flight Simulator Facility, which was designed and overseen by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, is general contractor Sundt Construction.  In support of the Navy’s goals of ensuring that the mid-century utility and communication capabilities were brought up to today’s standards and that “the air station has the power resources to support the F-35 program’s infrastructure needs,” Bergelectric provided power and lighting, communications, fire-alarm and photovoltaic systems for the $18-million flight simulator facility.

Strategic Plan Focused on Collaboration and Precision

Interoffice collaboration was a primary contributor to Berg being able to confidently meet the one-year schedule for this 43,150-sf technically-challenging undertaking.  While the security-critical tel/data communications and fire alarm systems were being spearheaded by Berg’s Portland, OR office, the detailing essential to the accurate layout of electrical was being performed by professionals in Las Vegas, NV.

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“Because of security requirements, all of the mechanical equipment must be contained within the building itself, which resulted in a tight squeeze when installing electrical,” noted Berg’s regional manager for Arizona.  By working closely in a cooperative effort—with NAVFAC engineers, the mechanical contractor on the project and simulator designers Lockheed-Martin—Berg was able to efficiently move forward with electrical field work.

Further complicating the process was the classified nature of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Simulator Facility, which mandated that equipment not be installed until all contractors have left the building.  “So, being precise in calculations for power installation was even more critical to success,” added Berg Superintendent.  Bergelectric utilized its in-house Global Positioning System (GPS)-driven Trimble locating device to identify and set all points of the flight-simulator facility.  Trimble enabled the creation of 3D field points that precisely identify electrical during the layout process.  Once in the field, Berg crews were then able to ascertain all of the conduit points, which facilitates accurate placement and expedites conduit installation time.  Thanks to these and other efforts of Bergelectric professionals around the country, pilots were already training in the state-of-the-art simulator facility and ready to launch the Department of Defense’s first F-35 JSF operational squadron before the initial F-35 JSF aircraft arrived in Yuma.

Size
43,000 Square Feet

Electrical Construction Cost
$4.5 Million

Duration
July 2011 – December 2013

Delivery Method
Design-Bid-Build

Other Team Members
Sundt Construction
Naval Facilities Engineering Command

Berg Regional Office
San Diego

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