Leaders at Hill Air Force Base cut the ribbon for a new $15 million software support facility at a Sept. 2 ceremony.
The new facility, affectionately called TINA, or Trailer in the North Area, will be home to teams from the 309th Software Engineering Group, whose mission is to develop and deliver warfighter capability via weapon systems software, one of the base’s top strategic priorities.
Brig. Gen. Richard Gibbs, Ogden Air Logistics Complex commander, said he was excited about the facility and how it will impact the group’s software development and integration.
“It’s absolutely incredible work that’s being done in the SWEG and a facility like this is just leaps and bounds of what we’ve had in the past,” Gibbs said. “This building will be a great asset for the SWEG and I’m looking forward to what it will bring.”
Jim Diamond, director of the 309th SWEG, said the software teams are spread out among 14 buildings, all of which are nearly full, so TINA will provide much needed space for members of the group, which includes 2,100 engineers, technicians, computer scientists, cyber security specialists, information technologists, configuration managers and expert support personnel.
“SWEG is on an amazing journey of continuing to push the boundaries of software development to keep our aircraft weapons systems relevant, but we’re also pushing the physical boundaries of our buildings,” said Jim Diamond, director of the 309th SWEG. “TINA brings much needed additional facility space for our group.”
The 72,000 square-foot building is specifically designed for software development and integration and offers a state-of-the-art work area for employees. It is comprised of 108 interconnected trailers with four bays with flexible classification configurations, with 450 seats, 32 offices and 18 conference rooms. It also includes two commons areas with decompression space, outdoor atriums, and “funky color schemes.”
“The structure of the building has bridged the gap between the stodgy, austere functionality of yesterday’s Air Force buildings, with bright, collaborative work spaces and color schemes representative of Willy Wonka if he had a software factory,” said Enos Cummings, 309th SWEG’s director of engineering.
Due to the increasing software-intensive nature of modern weapons systems, the new facility was necessary to sustain the increasing workload, as well as attract and retain top software engineers.
“We’re trying to build a software campus, and this is a big part of that growth and will help us attract STEM professionals who we feel will be attracted to the work being done in this facility,” Cummings said. “The open spaces and work areas are designed to promote collaboration and agile software production, but the building was also designed to help retain SWEG’s technical talent, the heartbeat of the group.”
Leadership said software development is dynamic and always changing, so having a state-of-the-art facility designed with open spaces is a big leap forward and will help Hill be more competitive in attracting top software developers and engineers from Utah and around the country.
“As you look at the open architecture, the campus we’re ultimately trying to design and implement is all about the people that work here, and enabling their creative juices and the speed in which we need them to operate,” Gibbs said.