Building the Future: Constructing the First Home for the B-21 Raider

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Bryan Construction’s federal group is constructing facilities at Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota to support a new strategic mission for the Air Force. These facilities will be unique and worthy of the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation long-range bomber, the B-21 Raider.

B-21 RECOGNIZES THE RAIDER AS THE FIRST BOMBER OF THE 21ST CENTURY

The B-21 Raider will be the backbone of the U.S. bomber fleet, representing the future of U.S. air power. Fittingly, the B-21 Raider is named in honor of the Doolittle Raid of World War II, a mission led by Lt. Col. James “Jimmy” Doolittle, an innovator in aviation. Doolittle successfully launched 16 B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. This was previously thought impossible, as only single-engine planes had ever been launched from aircraft carriers. Doolittle led 80 volunteer airmen on a mission critical to the outcomes of World War II. 

The twin-engine B-25s had to be loaded on the carrier deck by cranes and could not return to the Hornet. The B-25s had to be specially modified for the mission. The strategy to launch twin-engine bombers from aircraft carriers had a significant psychological impact. The raid pushed forward plans by the Japanese Navy to attack Midway Island, but the subsequent Battle of Midway proved to be a decisive victory for the U.S. and a turning point in WWII.

The Doolittle Raid
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

NEXT EVOLUTION OF THE AIR FORCE STRATEGIC BOMBER FLEET

Following a long-standing tradition of heroism, the U.S. Air Force has recently introduced the sixth-generation Bomber to its arsenal. The B-21 Raider is a significant advancement, benefiting from over three decades of progress in both strike and stealth technology. The next-generation stealth technology used in the Raider makes it almost invisible to air defense systems. Ellsworth Air Force Base has been chosen as the preferred location for the main operating base and formal training unit.

Bryan Construction takes great pride in honoring the legacy of the extraordinary individuals who played a crucial role in shaping our history. We are honored to be the builders of the facilities that will house and maintain the B-21 Raider and train and equip our future airmen to maintain the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world. 

At these project sites, our men and women take immense pride in their work every day, knowing their dedication and commitment to project success helps shape the success of future generations. Many achievements will take place within these walls long after they are built.

Mark, one of our exceptional superintendents, says that his work on Ellsworth feels like his way of contributing to the freedom of the United States. He emphasizes the incredible teamwork at Bryan Construction, internally and in collaboration with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Each team member is driven to deliver exceptional work and contribute to the success of the project. 

Bryan Construction is constructing several facilities to support the B-21 Raider including the Washrack and Maintenance Hangar, the Flight Simulator, the Mission Operations Planning Facility (MPF) & the Field Training Detachments Facility (FTD), and the Formal Training Unit & the Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

B-21 Stealth Bomber Rendering
Photo by Northrop Grumman.

B-21 WASHRACK AND MAINTENANCE HANGAR

This project includes: 

  • 56,811 square feet of hangar space.

The project is being constructed adjacent to – and is required to integrate with – active airfield operations.  Demolition of existing facilities, utilities, and infrastructure – including hazardous materials, contaminated hangars, apron, and soils. Site features include associated airfield apron, site features, utilities, and infrastructure for future B-21 projects.  Facility functional areas include two (2) hangar bays sized to fit B-21 aircraft with an environmental control system designed to accommodate general maintenance and airframe wash activities. Each hangar bay is capable of operating independently from the other and is equipped with infrastructure and building systems capable of supporting emerging B-21 needs.  A central administrative/support component is located between and adjacent to the hangar bays.

B-21 FLIGHT SIMULATOR

The project includes: 

  • 29,179 square feet of B-21 simulator and associated spaces.

This project is an addition/alteration to building 8205 to support the transition of the facility from a B-1 simulator facility to a B-21 simulator facility. The space will support the installation of six flight training devices and is required to support flight training, mission planning, flight operations in a secure environment, aircrew mission briefs and debriefs, and communications.

MISSION OPERATIONS PLANNING FACILITY & FIELD TRAINING DETACHMENT FACILITY

The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) awarded Bryan Construction the B-21 Field Training Facility construction. The project includes:

  • B-21 Mission Operations Planning Facility (MPF)
  • B-21 Field Detachment Training Facility (FTD) on adjacent sites at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
  • Associated paving, site features, utilities, and infrastructure for operations planning for the emerging B-21 beddown.

The MPF will provide secure operations planning space in support of B-21 operations at Ellsworth Air Force Base. The FTD will provide secure maintenance training and classroom space supporting B-21 operations at Ellsworth Air Force Base and Air Force-wide. 

FORMAL TRAINING UNIT & AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE UNIT

This project includes:

  • 44,487 square feet of secure aircraft maintenance space
  • 43,776 square feet of secure squadron operations space
  • A 5,000 square foot non-secure flight kitchen 

This secure building will also have a soundproof interior and various radio frequency shields. The project will include associated paving, fencing, site features, utilities, and infrastructure for operations and maintenance of the emerging B-21 airframe.

Each facility is instrumental to the needs of the world’s premier sixth-generation aircraft. Building the infrastructure, maintenance, and training facilities for an aircraft vital to our national security is something Bryan Construction takes very seriously.

BRYAN CONSTRUCTION'S PROJECT TEAMS

Our project teams at Ellsworth AFB have extensive experience spanning decades. They fully recognize the importance of a deep understanding of the project, which is essential for achieving success. As one of our superintendents emphasizes, it is also crucial to comprehend what motivates the team and create an environment where responsibilities and expectations are clearly and fairly communicated. The superintendent’s site management approach focuses on promoting efficiency and consistent communication while minimizing disruptions to ongoing Ellsworth AFB operations. Building a strong bond between team members is a top priority, so they gather for cookouts once a week, providing an opportunity to connect outside of work while staying focused on the project’s progress.

The choices they make on a daily basis will establish the standard for the mission-critical work that lies ahead, which will span over a decade. They are fully aware that they are constructing something of immense significance for the future. With great pride in their work, they eagerly anticipate the remarkable achievements that the U.S. Air Force will accomplish, and they are committed to contributing to the preservation of the freedom of the United States.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers awarded Bryan Construction the B-21 Mission Operations Planning Facility (MPF) and the B-21 Field Training Detachment Facility (FTD). Our project team's daily choices for project success establish the standard for the mission-critical work that lies ahead.
The project team that will lead construction on the first-ever Flight Simulator for the not-yet-existing B-21 Raiders. The Flight Simulator will provide comprehensive training on the anticipated next-generation B-21 aircraft.
Bryan Construction's exceptional team is at the forefront of constructing the Washrack and Maintenance Hangar for the revolutionary B-21 Raiders, the brand-new stealth bombers.
The talented team leading construction on the Formal Training Unit (FTU) and Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Ellsworth Air Force Base, the first location for the B-21 Raiders.
Bryan Construction, the talented team leading the Ellsworth Air Force Base projects, is proudly constructing the first home for the sixth-generation stealth bomber, the B-21 Raiders.
PHOTO BY: Northrop Grumman. This is an artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. Courtesy graphic by Northrop Grumman.

*The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

PHOTO BY: U.S. Air Force. The B-21 Raider is named in honor of the Doolittle Raid of World War II, a mission led by Lt. Col. James "Jimmy" Doolittle, an aviation innovator. Doolittle successfully launched 16 B-25 Mitchell twin-engine bombers from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. The heroic raid was the result of coordination between the Army Air Forces and the US Navy. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo).

*The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

PHOTO BY: U.S. Air Force The B-21 Raider is a significant advancement, benefiting from over three decades of progress in both strike and stealth technology. The next-generation stealth technology used in the Raider makes it almost invisible to air defense systems. Bryan Construction will build the first home for the Raider. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

*The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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