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56th Communications Squadron breaks ground on new operations building

Construction helmets sit atop painted shovels before the start of the groundbreaking ceremony for the 56th Communications Squadron’s new facility at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The new facility will consolidate the 56th CS, currently split between three locations, into one location for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Construction helmets sit atop painted shovels before the start of the groundbreaking ceremony for the 56th Communications Squadron’s new facility at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The new facility will consolidate the 56th CS, currently split between three locations, into one location for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

A concept image of the 56th Communications Squadron’s future operations building sits in front of the site of its groundbreaking ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The building is being constructed in a joint effort between the 56th CS, the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Army Corps of Engineers, and private contractors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

A concept image of the 56th Communications Squadron’s future operations building sits in front of the site of its groundbreaking ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The building is being constructed in a joint effort between the 56th CS, the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Army Corps of Engineers, and private contractors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Col. Robert Sylvester, 56th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the crowd during the groundbreaking ceremony for the 56th Communications Squadron’s new operations building at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The construction is scheduled to be complete in late 2019, allowing the 56 CS to be in a single location for the first time and improving their support to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Col. Robert Sylvester, 56th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the crowd during the groundbreaking ceremony for the 56th Communications Squadron’s new operations building at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The construction is scheduled to be complete in late 2019, allowing the 56 CS to be in a single location for the first time and improving their support to the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Maj. Nathaniel Edwards, 56th Communications Squadron commander, addresses the crowd during the groundbreaking ceremony for the squadron’s future operations building at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The building will improve internal communications by moving the squadron into one centralized location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Maj. Nathaniel Edwards, 56th Communications Squadron commander, addresses the crowd during the groundbreaking ceremony for the squadron’s future operations building at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The building will improve internal communications by moving the squadron into one centralized location. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Representatives from the partners in the construction of the 56th Communications Squadron’s future operations building dig the first holes during the building’s groundbreaking ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The partners include the 56th CS, the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Army Corps of Engineers, and private contractors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

Representatives from the partners in the construction of the 56th Communications Squadron’s future operations building dig the first holes during the building’s groundbreaking ceremony at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., March 28, 2018. The partners include the 56th CS, the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, the Army Corps of Engineers, and private contractors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ridge Shan)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

Construction on the 56th Communications Squadron’s new central operations building began during a groundbreaking ceremony March 28, 2018.

Expected to be completed in late 2019, the facility will enable new communications infrastructure and host the entire communications squadron in a central location for the first time.

“The new facility will house portions of the base’s network,” said Maj. Nathaniel Edwards, 56th CS commander. “More importantly, the co-location of the Comm-Bats (56th CS Airmen) will greatly improve our efficiency in conducting internal communications to better support the mission.”

The 56th CS develops and maintains all of Luke’s primary digital and electronic communications utilities, including computers, networks, and data storage.

“Our facilities are old,” said Tech. Sgt. Odette Esho, 56th Communications Squadron knowledge operations manager. “Our current mission requires a facility that is state-of-the-art and can support a technology driven unit to keep information protected and equipment controlled at all times.”

Esho said the 56th CS, which is currently split between three separate on-base locations, has been waiting for a new consolidated building for 19 years.

“We are utilizing what we've got and making it work,” Esho said. “Being located in one building will allow us to work together effectively and decrease delay in customer service and responsiveness.”

Construction is being done by private contractors with input from the Army Corps of Engineers, the 56th Civil Engineer Squadron, and the 56th CS.

Edwards is confident the new facility will enhance the capability of the 56th Fighter Wing to build the future of airpower.

“The entire wing will see benefits from the new infrastructure,” Edwards said. “The new building will provide long term stability to services that underpin all operations here at Luke.”