On Oct. 27, several members of the local community along with base leadership took up their golden shovels and broke ground at the site of what will become the very first Falcon Hill commercial building.
Among the distinguished speakers were Maj. Gen. Andrew Busch, Ogden Air Logistics Center commander, Gov. Gary Herbert, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah).
"This historical groundbreaking marks a giant leap forward for Team Hill," Busch said. "The Falcon Hill project elicits unprecedented potential for Hill Air Force Base, the surrounding communities and the entire Air Force."
"This is a groundbreaking event in more ways than one," Hatch said in agreement. "We are not only breaking ground on the Northrop Grumman office building, but we are ushering in a new era for Hill Air Force Base."
The Falcon Hill aerospace research park is set to provide new facilities for about six thousand base employees and improve mission effectiveness by bringing related organizations together in one facility.
First to break ground
The first tenant and one such organization is Northrop Grumman's ICBM Prime Integration office building, which will be located much closer to the 526th ICBM Systems Group once the new building is completed. The new location will allow the two organizations to conduct business together on base, rather than having to travel off base to reach the ICBM Prime Integration office building.
The Falcon Hill project is also notable due to its being the first major enhanced use lease in Air Force history. The enhanced use lease will allow funding for the Falcon Hill construction on base property by allowing Sunset Ridge Development Partners, a private developer, to lease the property and pay rent by building the Falcon Hill research aerospace park.
"This enhanced use lease project is the model for showing how the federal government, state and local governments and the private sector can all join together in a win-win situation that benefits everyone, so I'm glad we are finally seeing this innovative project take shape and become a reality," Bishop said in a news release issued in September.
The groundbreaking event was a step toward the positive impact the Falcon Hill development will have, not only by providing upgraded, modern facilities but also by enhancing mission effectiveness.
"Projects such as Falcon Hill demonstrate the benefits that public-private partnerships can have in fostering economic growth and promoting efficiencies for the military, helping the war fighter in the field and protecting families at home," said Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), who was a key player in the success of the Falcon Hill project but unable to attend the groundbreaking, in a September news release.