By Clark Pierce
Editor

A ground breaking ceremony was held Feb. 11 aboard NAS Jacksonville for the MQ-4C Triton Mission Control Center. The $16 million construction project was awarded by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast to Whitesell-Green Inc., a small business headquartered in Pensacola,Fla. 

The Triton, formerly known as the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS), is expected to enable American and allied warriors by providing operational commanders the real-time information they require to fight and win.

The Triton Mission Control Center project includes a two-story structure with two electromagnetic, interference-shielded mission control systems, a tactical operations center and numerous roof top antennas.

The 30,986-sq.-ft. structure will feature a stucco finish over reinforced masonry walls. The project also includes constructing antenna infrastructure at NAS Jacksonville's south antennas site. 

Located at the northwest corner of Saratoga Avenue and Jason Street, the MQ-4C Triton UAS Mission Control Center will fall under control of Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW)-11 based at NAS Jacksonville.

The Navy announced in October 2013 the establishment of Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)-19 at NAS Jacksonville to operate and maintain the MQ-4C Triton UAS. VUP-19 will provide the organizational framework for mission control, mission planning and data analysis from NAS Jacksonville.

The Triton UAS will be operated by crews consisting of P-8A Poseidon pilots, naval flight officers and aviation warfare operators using the mission control system at NAS Jacksonville.

The new facility is projected to be rated as Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver by the U.S. Green Building Council. The parking area will utilize porous pavers for regular, handicapped and carpool spaces.

The project is scheduled for completion by December 2014.