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    New hangar at Yuma Proving Ground will increase Freefall capabilities

    Groundbreaking ceremony for new hangar at Yuma Proving Ground

    Photo By Ana Henderson | For more than a quarter of a century, the Military Freefall School (MFFS), part of the...... read more read more



    Story by Mark Schauer 

    U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground

    Testing virtually every piece of equipment in the ground combat arsenal is U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground’s primary mission.

    Yet for more than a quarter of a century, the Military Freefall School (MFFS), part of the United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School, has utilized the proving ground’s vast ranges to train thousands of the military’s most elite paratroopers.

    Since the opening of one of the world’s largest vertical wind tunnels here in 2014, the MFFS’s mission has increased significantly. Earlier today, ground was broken for the construction of a two bay hangar for the Special Operations Aviation Command flight detachment that has supported training operations of the MFFS for the past seven years.

    “The C27 that will be housed in this hangar is nearly perfect for the MFFS mission,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 David Jones, the detachment’s commander. “I’m excited for this hangar. I can’t think of a better way to really solidify the future of this USASOC flight detachment than the construction of this hangar.”

    The flight detachment maintains and flies the C27J, formerly used as a niche cargo plane to supplement the larger C-130. The aircraft was extensively tested at YPG prior to being fielded and is regarded by many as a high performance aircraft. It achieves altitude more quickly than the aircraft formerly used to support the MFFS prior to the creation of the flight detachment, and also accommodates two to three times as many jumpers at a time, which has also contributed to a significant expansion of MFFS training opportunities in recent years.

    “This is a symphony,” said Maj. Nicholas Garver, MFFS commander. “We could not do it without the world class knowledge and expertise the flight detachment brings every day. This hangar will make the symphony even more efficient.”

    The hangar is the first of three new buildings that that will ultimately bring all of the MFFS’ activities into one campus.

    “What we do here every day is very dynamic in nature,” said Garver. “Having everyone consolidated in one area helps with efficiency and with a sense of community. As we transition to great power competition, these facilities will help us reach the goal of providing a greater capability for the Army enterprise.”

    “Everything we do here is tied to time and efficiency,” added Sgt. Maj. Christopher Bauer. “After nearly 30 years here on the ground at Yuma Proving Ground, we’ve gotten pretty efficient, but this new construction will give us a place of our own and increase our efficiency.”

    The hangar, built by Harper Construction, is scheduled for completion in 2023.

    “Any time we add facilities to our installations, we have to think further down the road,” said Ron James, YPG Garrison Manager. “Sustainment goes into the planning process. It’s not just breaking some ground and the great people putting up these buildings, it’s the sustainment of the buildings and the extra effort that goes into our support of it.”

    The remaining two buildings that will constitute the MFFS campus, along with the construction of access aprons and improved taxiways, are expected to be finished by 2026.

    “Our largest Soldier population is the Military Freefall School,” said James. “We’re thankful that the Special Operations community brought this construction to YPG to enhance their mission. It’s a real demonstration of commitment.”



    Date Taken: 12.07.2021
    Date Posted: 12.07.2021 16:17
    Story ID: 410638

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