Air Force Chief of Staff Joins IFHF to Break Ground on New Intrepid Spirit Center at Eglin Air Force Base, FL

Eglin Air Force Base, FL (May 2, 2019) – The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF), representatives from Eglin Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, General David L. Goldfein, and the 96th Medical Group broke ground on a new Intrepid Spirit Center that will diagnose and treat Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) in regional active duty service members at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The facility will be the eighth in a series of ten centers located at military bases around the country built by the IFHF, a not-for-profit organization and national leader in supporting the men and women of the U. S. Armed Forces and their families. Intrepid Spirit Centers currently operate at Fort Belvoir, VA; Camp Lejeune, NC; Fort Campbell, KY; Fort Hood, TX; Fort Bragg, NC; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA; and Camp Pendleton, CA. This is the first Intrepid Spirit Center at an Air Force base.

Eglin Air Force Base’s Intrepid Spirit Center is projected to cost approximately $11 million to construct and equip with the latest in brain technology and treatment facilities. It will span 25,000 square feet and funding for the project is being raised privately through the IFHF.

“Breaking ground at Eglin Air Force Base for the eighth Intrepid Spirit Center is a major milestone for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund as it is the first Intrepid Spirit Center at an Air Force Base,” said Arnold Fisher, Honorary Chairman of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. “It is imperative that we, as Americans, ensure that our brave men and women protecting our freedoms receive the best care available in their treatment of TBI and PTS. Being able to treat our heroes closer to their homes where they are surrounded by their family, has been shown to be much more effective. We look forward to completing our current mission of building a total of 10 Intrepid Spirit Centers around the country.”

Home to the 96th Test Wing, 33rd Fighter Wing, 53d Wing, Air Force Research Lab’s Munitions Directorate, Armament Directorate, 919th Special Operations Wing, Air Force Special Operations Command, the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne),  6th Ranger Training Battalion, and the U.S. Navy’s Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Eglin Air Force Base’s 96th Test Wing supports more than 18,682  active duty personnel, 1,416  reserve personnel as well as more than92,000 military beneficiaries who reside near the base.

“The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (IFHF) generously offered to build and donate an Intrepid Spirit Center at Eglin AFB,” said Dr. Thomas Piazza, medical director of Eglin’s Invisible Wounds Center (IWC). “Once built, the Intrepid Spirit Center will have 30 percent more space than the IWC and will deliver an additional long list of cutting-edge equipment and medical capabilities. We are proud to join this family of TBI facilities and are grateful to the American citizens who have so generously supported the healthcare and healing of our active duty service members through the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.”

All Intrepid Spirit Centers are being funded and built by the IFHF through a $100 million fundraising campaign. Though the centers are being built exclusively through private donations, each center is gifted to the U.S. Department of Defense for operation and management upon completion. All of the centers are located at military bases around the country.

The design and mission of the Intrepid Spirit Centers are based on the original National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) which opened in 2010 at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Operated by theDOD, NICoE is the most advanced facility of its kind in the country, and is the center of the Armed Forces’ efforts in researching, diagnosing and treating TBI, PTS and related injuries sustained by military personnel.

(Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/AP Images for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund)

Posted on May 2 2019 in News

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