By Senior Master Sgt. Daniel Farrell, 159th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Office
BELLE CHASSE, La. – The 159th Fighter Wing, Louisiana Air National Guard hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new Aerospace Control Alert facility located at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Belle Chasse, La., on Wednesday.
The 39-million-dollar, 38,000 square foot facility took over three years to complete and is among the most state-of-the-art alert facilities in the Air National Guard. Along with housing F-15 fighter aircraft, the facility supports 24/7 living conditions for pilots, operations and maintenance personnel.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Keith Waddell, the adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard, Louisiana National Guard leadership and local community leaders participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the 159 FW’s new alert facility.
“The original facility became operational in 1989 and the F-15s we fly today are the same ones that were in existence that year,” said Waddell. “Getting the new F-15EXs will be nice in the coming years, to go along with this new world-class facility.”
The ACA mission consists of a network of fully-loaded fighter aircraft strategically positioned throughout the United States standing ready 24/7 to protect the country at a moment’s notice to airborne threats. As the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s last layer of defense, ACA aircraft guard against a diverse array of asymmetric threats that include manned/unmanned adversary aircraft and non-traditional airborne threats that have become more commonplace since 9/11.
“Thank you to every person involved that played a crucial role in shaping a space that enhances the strength and efficiency of our alert posture,” said U.S. Air Force Col. David Anderson, 159 FW commander. “This occasion not only symbolizes the physical opening of a new alert facility, but also represents the unwavering dedication of Louisiana Airmen to our Nation’s homeland defense mission.”
The 159 FW provides worldwide deployable aircraft and combat resources that are operated, maintained and supported by professional Louisiana Airmen dedicated to supporting federal and state missions year-round.