MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE RECEIVES $18M FOR AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER
It was announced in late October that Maxwell AFB has been selected by the United States Air Force to receive $18 million for the construction of a new air traffic control tower (ATCT) facility for the purpose of force protection and safety. The construction is expected to begin June 2019 and conclude December 2020. On the heels of landing the F-35 fleet and an Air Force innovation hub, this signifies Montgomery’s growing military mission.
"This needed upgrade will increase the base’s functionality by improving the structural conditions and enhancing the safety and visibility of all operations. Without the replacement tower, the current facility’s health and safety issues could result in ground accidents and costly damage or loss of assets,” said U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations and its Subcommittee on Defense. “I applaud the Air Force on their decision to fund the project. As the second-busiest distinguished visitor base in the nation, this funding is critical to maintaining and advancing Maxwell’s performance, particularly in light of its support for the F-35 fighter jet program.”
“Updating the air traffic control tower at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base is long overdue. I am very pleased that this issue is being addressed through the recently passed military funding bill, and I look forward to seeing this improvement become reality as Maxwell continues to support the needs of the Air Force in the River Region, including the 187th Fighter Wing’s missions,” said Congressman Martha Roby (R-Ala.) “This would not be possible without Senator Shelby’s efforts, and I appreciate his leadership as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Defense.”
Maxwell AFB played a role in the Air Force’s recent selection of Montgomery’s Dannelly Field as a site for the new F-35A fighter jet program. The powerful new aircraft is a fifth-generation fighter jet that will eventually replace the Air Force’s aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and A-10 Thunderbolt II’s, which have been the primary fighter aircraft for more than 20 years.
GRAB A PIECE OF RASPBERRY PI
Montgomery County high school students recently enjoyed an exciting opportunity to use their creativity and technical skills to develop a system using the latest Raspberry Pi, a small and affordable computer used to learn programming.
Each student team pitched its system to a panel of judges, and earning the highest score, the team from Pike Road won a classroom set of Raspberry Pis for its school. Judges evaluated the students’ ability to meet the requirements, their creativity, their innovation and their professionalism to determine the winners. Teams from Brew Tech and Park Crossing also placed in the top-scoring teams.
The pitch competition and "Raspberry Jam” was held at the new state-of-the-art MGMWERX facility downtown and was sponsored by TechMGM plus participating hosts: The Chamber, MGMWERX, MIP, HackMGM, PMI, Air University, 26th NOS, PEOBES and AFCEA.
MGM IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
“NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” did its evening broadcast live from Dexter Avenue in downtown Montgomery on Tuesday, October 9 as part of the show’s five-city nationwide tour. Before the broadcast, Holt spent the day in Montgomery, experiencing its rich history that included a visit to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
“I’ve never been to Montgomery, but Montgomery was a critical part of the fabric of the civil rights movement and with the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, it was a place we wanted to be,” Holt said, explaining the decision to include the capital city on the tour.
The Chamber would like to again extend thanks to the leadership of WSFA and Raycom Media for giving the city this chance to shine in this national spotlight.
MGM’S SMART CITY MOVEMENT AWARDED
The Center for Digital Government (CDG) recently announced that Montgomery won the 2018 Digital Cities Survey, along with several other U.S. cities that are leveraging technology to solve civic challenges, boost cybersecurity, increase transparency and improve overall quality of life. “This award is a testament to our entire team and emboldens our commitment to embracing technology to build a brighter future in the Capital of Dreams,” Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said. “Whether that means increasing transparency with Open Data Montgomery, using technology to improve Public Works services, making data-driven decisions to find new efficiencies or simplifying the process of starting a business, our team has been tasked with finding ways to make Montgomery a better place to live, work and play.”
Montgomery joined cities like Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Fort Collins, Colorado, as a winner in the 2018 Digital Cities Survey’s 125,000-249,000 population classification. CDG recognized Montgomery with an awards ceremony on November 8 in Los Angeles.
According to the Survey, “Alabama’s capital city of Montgomery is focused on maximizing its citizens’ experience with their government. The city’s open data portal generates transparency for community members, creating trust with residents and businesses. It also works internally to assist with data-driven decision-making, helping to identify efficiencies that can help save on costs. This is part of Montgomery’s smart cities efforts, which are focused on improving quality of life within the city and improving communication with citizens. For example, Montgomery worked with RoadBotics to track street conditions, the findings from which will help prioritize repairs. In another private-sector partnership, the city is making garbage trucks central to its efforts and using real-time service tracking data to monitor issues that residents may be facing throughout the city. To increase city internet speeds, Montgomery partnered with Montgomery County as well as Maxwell Air Force Base to provide up to 100GB speeds for its 25 members, with the goal of attracting businesses to the area by offering faster connections at lower prices.”