AFCEC awards contract for B-21 Stealth Bomber beddown at Ellsworth AFB

  • Published
  • By Mila Cisneros
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, will receive a new mission facility to support the bed down of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber following the recent Air Force Civil Engineer Center-led contract award of the B-21 Formal Training Unit (FTU) project.

The $65 million, state-of-the-art facility is the second awarded B-21 military construction project at Ellsworth AFB as AFCEC, a subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, continues its mission to deliver critical infrastructure for the next-generation Air Force bomber fleet.

“We’re expanding the Air Force’s global reach by providing integrated planning, design and construction solutions required to support the B-21 beddown,” said Lt. Col. Gary Moore, deputy director at AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. “We work with Department of Defense stakeholders to construct sustainable and mission-ready facilities that provide a high level of combat power, readiness and lethality.”

The new construction is a collaborative partnership between AFCEC, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Omaha District, Air Force Global Strike Command, the Department of the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office (DAF RCO) and Ellsworth’s 28th Civil Engineer Squadron.

As the first main operating base for the B-21 mission, Ellsworth AFB requires new facilities and infrastructure to accommodate the new airframe.

The AFCEC-led B-21 beddown program supports the addition of a mix of new military construction (MILCON) and the renovation of various facilities. Besides the formal training unit, AFCEC is also overseeing the construction of the $151 million low-observable restoration facility which was awarded in September, four additional Fiscal Year 2022 MILCON projects that are pending award and multiple other MILCON and operations and maintenance funded projects in upcoming years.

The FTU project is a 93,270 -square-foot, two-story facility will centralize aircraft maintenance and operations in one building. The facility will include the aircraft maintenance unit and a flight kitchen on the first floor and squadron operations with supporting offices on the second floor. The FTU is critical for B-21 Raider operations because it is the schoolhouse for all B-21 pilots.

The flight kitchen will serve the facility and all other B-21 squadron meal requirements while operations will include spaces for intelligence, instructors, training, scheduling and computer support personnel.

The project is one of many large-scale efforts to support the unique functions of the B-21 mission.

Ellsworth AFB is home to the 28th Bomb Wing, providing air combat power operating through employment of the largest conventional guided and unguided weapons. The base currently operates B-1 bombers, which will gradually be replaced as B-21’s are delivered to the Air Force.

Construction is expected to be complete in Fall 2024.