Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fentress Reopens After Yearlong Upgrade

Blog Editor Note: The only known frequency I have for Fentress is 269.800 MHz.

By Tom Kreidel, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic Public Affairs
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (NNS) -- Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress reopened with a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 16 in a ceremony attended by both the mayors of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach Va.

The $19.2 million project was awarded September, moving Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) to other bases, primarily Naval Air Station Oceana since January of this year.

"We're happy to welcome everyone to the new and improved Fentress," said Capt Bob Geis, NAS Oceana commanding officer. "These improvements will make both Oceana and Fentress operationally viable for many years to come."

The project included laying down a completely new concrete runway and many other improvements such as LED style lighting for the runways and taxiways along with upgrades to the electrical, mechanical and communications systems, and landing signal officer (LSO) shacks that will provide improved visibility for LSOs to observe aircraft approaches and landings.

The new shacks will be more similar in placement and design to those on actual carrier decks improving safety and realism of training for both aircrafts and crews. In addition, there will be new hold areas that will allow for heavy aircraft to turn and helicopter spot markings that will expand the versatility of the landing field.

The design for the project was performed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic, who also oversaw construction of the project by Lane Construction of Cheshire, Conn.

"This project was a major undertaking in scope, complexity and timeliness," said Capt. Paul Odenthal, NAVFAC Mid-Atlantic executive officer. "We are pleased to deliver this one of a kind facility to Oceana."

NALF Fentress began operations later in the afternoon of the ceremony.