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TACAMO cuts ribbon on new hangar

  • Published
  • By John Parker
  • 72nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing ONE recently cut the ribbon on a new $17.8 million maintenance hangar that packs significant new repair and overhaul capabilities for its E-6B Mercury aircraft.

The approximately 36,000-square-foot building joins four existing maintenance and repair hangars serving TACAMO’s (Take Charge and Move Out) primary mission of providing airborne command and control of U.S. nuclear forces.

The hangar at the Navy facilities on Tinker Air Force Base features the wing’s first 9-ton overhead bridge crane that will improve efficiency when taking planes apart for depot-level maintenance, overhaul, repair or modification.

The hangar also features its own machine shop, sheet metal shop and new offices for engineers, logisticians and key personnel of the Fleet Support Team.

“We now have the ability to produce flight surfaces, to bend metal, to work on hydraulic lines, bushings – all those things that typically we would have to go to machine shops over at Tinker’s Air Logistics Complex and compete with other high priority projects,” said Wing Commander Capt. Ed McCabe. “Now we’ve got a resident capability.”

Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Gebara, deputy director of nuclear operations for U.S. Strategic Command, attended the Nov. 22 ceremony. The general said the hangar is expected to be in service about 50 years and is a “symbol of the reinvigoration of our nuclear enterprise.”

The wing is composed of three squadrons and includes a staff of more than 1,300 active-duty sailors and 100 contractors. It also operates alert facilities at Travis, AFB, Calif., and Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

HGL Construction of Midwest City built the hangar, which includes concrete-reinforced storm shelters. A foam-based firefighting system is built into the flooring. A powerful air circulation system recirculates hotter air in the hangar’s higher reaches with cooler air at floor level to help even out temperatures.