Photo Credit: US Embassy Jerusalem
The festive ceremony at Nevatim Air Force Base in southern Israel, welcoming the first two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, Monday, December 12, 2016.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District, last March celebrated with a “small ceremony” its completion of a Hardened Hangar project providing an additional secure home for part of the Israeli Air Force’s fleet of F-35 fighter jets, the US Army website reported on Monday (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to deliver on F-35 program in Israel).

“This project is a key element of the US-Israeli partnership to deliver a unique set of hardened hangars and operations facilities to house a squadron of F-35’s for the Israeli Air Force,” said US Army Corps of Engineers, Europe District Commander Col. Patrick Dagon.

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This is not the first hardened hangar project the US Army Corps of Engineers has helped deliver in Israel in support of the F-35 program, and it likely won’t be the last. Work is already underway for multiple additional similar facilities to be constructed in the coming years.

The Israeli Defense Ministry provided the designs as well as local quality assurance specialists to support the US Army Corps of Engineers project management, with emphasis on the hangar’s ability to resist a variety of threats. The project team worked closely with a blast designer to account for site conditions and other concerns to ensure every component of the facility, including utilities, storage, life support, and more are designed to the highest, state-of-the-art standards for rugged survivability against any threat.

Functionality was another key issue with the design of the facility, enabling the rapid deployment of the F-35s at a moment’s notice, as well as interconnectivity with similar facilities around the country.

Israeli Air Force technicians installed a secure communications network as soon as the construction of the site was complete so that it could be occupied immediately and start supporting missions.

“Every Israeli Ministry of Defense and Air Force leader who speaks about this project explains how this is not a theoretical and potential need – but rather an immediate and critical part of their duty to protect the citizens of their country against the constant threat from enemies in the region,” Contracting Officer’s Representative Ben Diamond in south Israel told the US Army website. “When they speak I feel a sense of genuine pride in the outcome and appreciation for our efforts to deliver this asset to their security and defense and I feel humbled to be able to make such an impact.”

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