Towers Crumble and Rise

In the shadow of a new air traffic control tower, contractors with cutting torches severed the last girder, lowering the 1950s observation deck of the former tower at Duke Field, Fla., from its perch with a crane. Located on the Eglin range complex, Duke is undergoing infrastructure modernization to serve alongside Choctaw Field—also within the expansive complex—as a primary divert airfield for F-35 strike fighters training at Eglin Air Force Base. The old tower’s removal took place on Dec. 3. Eglin’s tri-service F-35 Integrated Training Center received its first Lightning II aircraft in July and has been training its initial cadre of instructor pilots. Duke Field is also currently home to Air Force Reserve Command’s 919th Special Operations Wing. (Eglin photo caption)