by Joe Wilhelm Jr.
The Navy proudly unveiled one of its largest hangars for the P-3 Orion aircraft on Tuesday at Naval Air Station Jacksonville with the help of Acting Secretary of the Navy B.J. Penn.
After two years, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 has a new home at NAS Jacksonville, and BRAC Hangar 511 was officially opened Tuesday with a ribbon cutting attended by dignitaries including Mayor John Peyton, NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jack Scorby Jr. and Commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11 Capt. Kyle Cozad.
The 287,000 square-foot facility will house up to eight P-3’s, with uses that include maritime patrol, reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare and anti-submarine warfare.
“I could not be more proud of the literally thousands of people who made this day a reality,” said Scorby. “This day does not happen without the support of our city, state and national political leaders.”
Those leaders helped bring a $123,522,000 project to Jacksonville, which provided $60,328,697 in local contracts. Local contractors included Ross & Logan, Stankunas Concrete, CMC Rebar, Ron Kendall Masonry, N&N Cabinets, Southeastern Glass, Barber & Associates, J.E. Abercrombie, Workplace Interiors, Coastal Elevators and East Coast Fire Protection.
“We look forward to this investment and many more,” said Peyton. “Know that we are looking for ways to increase the Navy presence in Jacksonville. We have a battle on our hands right now as we work to build a case to secure the next nuclear aircraft carrier at Mayport.”
The Navy has applied for LEED Certified Building status and, if granted, we will be the first “Green” hangar in the Navy. Green building practices incorporated into the design include stormwater design quantity and quality control, reduced light pollution, water efficient landscaping (no irrigation), reduced water usage in building, 10 percent recycled content used in construction, and low-emitting indoor materials.
The total amount of concrete used in the project could build 35.5 miles of I-95. The total amount of electrical cable used in the building could stretch to Daytona Beach. During inclement weather, the length of the building could accommodate three football games being played simultaneously under its roof.