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Humble Beginnings - page 28 / 63





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Spring 1999 Col. Mark A. Stubben assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.

August 1999 There was a large fire, possibly caused by an aircraft accident, on the southern slopes of the Groom Mountains north of Groom Lake.

October 1999 Air Force takes official ownership of Area 51 in a land swap deal, signed by President Clinton. Click here for LVRJ article. The white Jeep Cherokee security vehicles are being replaced by Ford F-150's, and later Chevy 2500 4x4 pickup trucks.

2000 The Transient Parking ramp (JANET ramp) was excavated and re-paved.

August 2000 Col. David W. Eidsaune assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.

October 2000 Area 51 North Gate (Back Gate) is upgraded with a chain link fence, double gate and a new guard shack. More information and photos here.

2001 F-22A (91-4004) was flown through the Dynamic Coherent Measurement System (DYCOMS) airborne RCS range (known on-site as Project 100 or simply P-100) to verify the low-observable characteristics of the Lockheed Martin F/A-22A Raptor. All but two of the original tanks in the fuel farm were removed and two new large tanks were installed.

April 2001 The South Delta Taxiway was marked as Runway 12/30. It is approximately 5,420-feet-long and 150-feet-wide, with convenient access to the Southend ramp. Runway 14R/32L was closed in its entirety.

December 2001 DET 3 security personnel from EG&G Technical Services went on strike for two days, citing low wages and excessive amounts of overtime in the three months since the terrorist strikes in September. Supervisors were forced to man posts vacated by the 70 striking guards. Click here for LVRJ article.

June 2002 Col. Thomas J. Masiello assigned as commander of DET 3, AFFTC.

Early 2003 Construction of the two new fuel tanks is completed. A new Center Taxiway, providing access to Runway 14L/32R, is constructed. It includes a new access way to Hangar 19 (the "Scoot-n-Hide shed"). Construction is completed by July 2003. Click here for a Satellite Image, and photos from Tikaboo Peak.

Mid-2003 The Southend ramp in front of Hangars 9 through 16 was similarly replaced in the summer of 2003.

March 2004 A Beech 1900 (N27RA), operated by EG&G, crashed on a flight from Groom to TTR. The civilian pilot, David D. Palay, and passengers Derrick L. Butler, Michael A. Izold, Daniel M. Smalley, and Roy A. Van Voorhis (contractors with JT3 LLC) perished. Click here for LVRJ article.

May 2004 The 413th Flight Test Squadron was inactivated as part of a consolidation and realignment

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