Tyndall Air Force Base makes strides to become the base of the future

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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – Dubbed the base of the future, Tyndall’s multi-billion dollar reconstruction shows what could pave the way for other Air Force bases across the country.

You name it, they’ve thought of it. Tyndall is rolling out new things that officials are sure will pave the way for other bases and the Department of Defense as a whole.

Tyndall Air Force Base takes virtual reality to a whole new level. Officials gave NewsChannel 7 a behind-the-scenes look at the implementation of a campus-wide digital twin at the site of the new headquarters.

“I’m going to sync the wing headquarters building information model and we can look through the iPad and see what exactly the building will look like overlaid with what the bracket looks like now,” Nicholas Cap, first lieutenant and chief of the innovation element for the natural disaster recovery division at Tyndall Air Force Base, said.

On a smaller scale, the base’s robot dogs also showed off a few tricks. Four-legged unmanned vehicles patrol dangerous terrain at the north end of the base.

“He does a full course, he will come back, he gets back on his charger, opens his niche. Everything is self-contained, unless something happens we can step in and say hey do x, do y or do z,” said Garey Watson Jr., master sergeant and superintendent of security force plans and programs at Tyndall Air Force Base. “They help us get through it all without having to be physically there, but we can actually see what’s going on in real time.”

Another task taken over by the robots on the base is to mow the lawn.

“If the sun goes down or you know it’s getting tiring or it’s 110 degrees, they don’t care. They will come out and cut. And they can do it 24/7 if you need them,” Cap said. “It’s important to keep the grass low because it’s a threat to the birds. It’s kind of a nesting area for birds and if we can reduce that obstruction it minimizes the risk to the airfield, which is major because you don’t want a bird destroying a 100 plane millions of dollars.

All new futuristic technologies are tied to what is called IROC, or Installation Resilience Operations Command and Control. This is a prototype of what could be a revolutionary solution for security and emergency response.

“What boils down here is a new thing that we’re rolling out to Tyndall,” said Lowell Usrey, head of the integration branch for the natural disaster recovery division at Tyndall Air Force Base. “This is a prototype effort that hasn’t been done in the Air Force or the Department of Defense anyway.”

Tyndall Air Force Base officials said the destruction caused by Hurricane Michael gave them the opportunity to rebuild and build better than before.

It’s almost a clean slate for the base to test things that other places can’t do. But it’s a work in progress and officials say there’s plenty more to come.

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