What Makes a “Future Base”

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Jacob Dastas
  • 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

With the intent of continuing the mission, building resiliency and staying on the cutting edge of innovation, the U.S. Air Force made the decision to transform Tyndall Air Force Base into the “Installation of the Future” in late 2018. This would mean that while recovering from Hurricane Michael’s devastation, Team Tyndall would be asked to do what no base has done before.

Over it’s almost 75 years of service, the Air Force has stayed at the forefront of technology and efficiency. But with the race for air, cyber and space dominance growing in competition, a large step had to be taken. That step was turning Tyndall into the testing grounds for some of the newest technology the world had to offer.

“[What] we are doing here as part of the outcome of Hurricane Michael is likely paving the way for the rest of the Air Force and potentially the Department of Defense,” said Lowell Usrey, Natural Disaster Recovery innovation branch chief.

While much of the newest technology here is being tried and tested for the first time, Team Tyndall is no stranger to accepting a challenge and thriving through hard work.

“We have always had a history of civil engineering excellence here,” said 1st Lt. Nicholas Cap, NDR chief of innovation element. “We are trying to shoot for the stars and get as much as we can out of these new systems.”

Notable new systems being tested include an artificial weapon detecting intelligence system as well as the “Digital Twin”, a system that allows military personnel and contractors to design multi-layered infrastructures and resolve potential building issues, all before the ground is broken. These new systems and more will all be controlled by the Installation Resilience Operation Command and Control.

“It’s the cyber-secure glue; it keeps all of the systems on base interconnected,” said Cap. “The goal is that the IROC will allow a smarter and faster way of maintaining operations.”

The system will work as a digital control center for many different functions of the base. From weather tracking and security alerts, to being able to detect electrical and plumbing issues in facilities from a desktop screen, the IROC will allow personnel to maintain a total coverage of the installation.

While Tyndall is the jumping-off platform for these systems, many other bases can take the work done here and apply it to their specific mission sets. According to Cap, Beale AFB and Hurlburt Field are planning to start integrating the IROC system over the next year.

The work being done by Team Tyndall to blaze the trail for the integration of these new systems becoming a part of the Air Force’s daily operations hold the potential to revolutionize operations throughout the Department of Defense.

“I think the work we have done here has absolutely become a step in the right direction,” said Cap. “We have done a very good job of telling our story and we hope to be able to help other installations do the same through this technology.”