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Here we 'grow' again

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Pelham Myers
  • 169th FW/PA
Anyone who has visited the McEntire Joint National Guard base recently will immediately realize that this is 'not your father's' base.

New construction appears to be ubiquitous. The most glaring of which is the new Joint facility near the main gate. However, several other buildings, as well as the runway are undergoing major renovations.

Maj. Richard Noble, Construction Engineer of the 169th Civil Engineer Squadron, who manages and assists in the design of major renovations on base, said, "This is a busy time. However, whenever the Guard Bureau obligates funds, we must be ready to execute.

"We realize that the more we execute the more work they will give us, and we have shown the ability to execute projects in the past," said Noble. "We are well able to spend the dollars which the Guard Bureau wants to spend."

The current projects on base include repairing the existing Fire Suppression System in both hangars (Bldg. 253 and 1046). This entails updating the old (AFFF) to the mandated (ATF) high expansion foam.

The Civil Engineering staff is also overseeing the replacement more than three miles of sewer line, beginning at the main gate and running throughout the base. This Sanitary Sewer Distribution System will tie in to the current Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP).

"We are replacing all existing sewer lines dating back to 1956, which should help the currently over-taxed WWTP," said Noble. "This one year project is scheduled for completion in November 2013."

In addition to the utility projects, several buildings on base are undergoing a major facelift..

One of those is the 22 year-old Civil Engineering building itself, which will add approximately 2500 sq. ft., to include a new auditorium.

The interior administrative space of the CE building is also being reconfigured, while the existing shop space receives a major upgrade on energy efficiency.

"We are upgrading the HVAC system and the electrical fixtures to be in compliance with new energy requirements," said Noble. "The project should be completed in the March - April 2013 timeframe."

The Communications facility is undergoing a similar upgrade with the addition of approximately 2,000 square feet of space, including a new auditorium. This project should also be completed around April 2013.

Noble said, "The Communications building is even older than the CE building, and will also have a new HVAC system and electrical fixtures."

Another project on site is the construction of a new small magazine storage facility at Munitions Complex, which should bring them into safety regulation compliance.

The construction of a Pavement and Grounds facility, behind the CE building will be constructed to replace the existing unit, and will be approximately 8,000 square feet. The contract for this six-month project should be awarded later this month.

Finally, the 12" thick concrete slabs that make up the ramp is scheduled for completion by February 2013.

"The thicker concrete slabs will fulfill the current requirement for Fighter-sized aircraft," said Noble. "This will make us compliant for any future growth of F35 fighter aircraft."

Aside from the jobs in progress, the Civil Engineering staff also has an additional 10 projects currently in design.

The current projects, along with the ones in design, are enough to keep the current staff of Col. Michael Dotson, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Nelson McLeod, Maj. Noble, along with retired state supervisor, Derriel Amick (Inspector), a busy team, but they plan for it all to be worthwhile.

"Obviously, the physical appearance of the base should encourage new recruits to enlist," said Noble. "Shiny and new buildings should give them a good first impression, and should also keeps the current staff happier to work in a better environment."