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A Pensacola-area contractor has been awarded a $8.5 million contract to build a new mission control facility for Triton drones at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

Whitesell-Green, Inc. of Pensacola will build the new 12,200 square foot Triton Mission Control Facility, its second such project at the base in recent years. The company was awarded a $16 million contract for a previous Triton facility in 2014.

“The new facility will be located adjacent to the existing and recently-completed Triton facility aboard NAS Jacksonville,” said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Sean P. Haley. “The new building will include primary and redundant Mission Control System (MCS) modules, a server room, mission planning and brief/debrief rooms, and a secure equipment vault.”

Developed by Northrop Grumman, the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system provides real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Navy officials announced in October 2013 that Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19 would be based at NAS Jacksonville to operate and maintain the Triton. VUP-19 provides the organizational framework for mission control, mission planning and data analysis from NAS Jacksonville, officials said.

Construction on the new facility is expected to be completed by July 2017.

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