Defense

May 16, 2014

Air Force moves closer to KC-46A beddown

Tags:
Jennifer Schneider
JB San Antonio-Randolph, Texas

Several projects will break ground at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., in the upcoming weeks, including construction of one- and two-bay hangars like those depicted in this rendering. The construction is part of the beddown effort for the Air Forceís new fleet of KC-46A aerial tankers, expected to arrive in 2016.

The Air Force is a step closer to bedding down its anticipated fleet of KC-46A Pegasus aerial tankers.

Officials recently announced Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma will serve as the Air Force’s KC-46A formal training unit and McConnell AFB, Kasas will be the first active duty-led main operating base for the aircraft.

Although the official basing decision was announced April 23, experts at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center have been working behind the scenes for more than two years, looking at both facility engineering needs and potential environmental impacts.

A crucial factor in the final basing decision was the assessment of possible environmental effects the new aircraft could have on the installation and surrounding communities.

Altus and McConnell AFBs were selected as the preferred alternatives for the formal training unit and main operating base in May 2013, but the definitive basing decision pended completion of an environmental impact statement, or EIS, required by the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA, and completed by AFCEC’s Air Force NEPA Center in less than one year, officials said.

“As far as we know, this is the first major weapon system beddown EIS completed within a 12-month time frame,” said Dale Clark, the Air Force NEPA Center director. “While all EISs can’t be completed that quickly, in this case we were driven by a tight basing timeline and aided by terrific cooperation from the bases and major commands involved in the process.”

With the basing decision finalized, AFCEC’s facility engineering directorate is prepared to begin awarding construction contracts over the next several weeks. To be able to award the construction contracts at the earliest opportunity, AFCEC began working with Air Mobility Command in 2011 to develop facility requirements that could be adapted to non-specific locations.

“The uncertainty regarding the final site locations meant we needed to develop standard designs that could easily be site-adapted to the final site locations selected,” said Thomas Hodges, the AFCEC branch chief responsible for the KC-46A military construction program. “Now that we have the final basing decision, we are poised to move quickly and begin awarding the actual construction contracts.”

The preparatory work made it possible for construction projects to be awarded only weeks after the basing decision was finalized.
“AFCEC did an exceptional job in meeting the aggressive strategic basing timeline and is now ready to execute a facility construction program in line with the first aircraft delivery in 2016 for (formal training unit) and (main operating base one),” said Alexander Karibian, the AMC/A7 KC-46A lead. “With the EIS being the long pole in the tent, AFCEC agencies successfully aligned the potential construction awards to the final record of decision of the EIS – an unimaginable feat, which was accomplished in less than a year.”

McConnell AFB has eight projects planned for fiscal year 2014, totaling more than $219 million. Projects include construction of one- and three-bay maintenance hangars, a two-bay corrosion control and fuel cell maintenance hangar, a flight simulator building and a dormitory. Additional projects include apron space additions and fuel hydrant expansions, as well as alterations to other miscellaneous facilities. Five additional projects, totaling $34 million, are slated for fiscal 2015.

Altus AFB will be initiating more than $30 million in construction across five projects this year, to include construction of a fuselage trainer, a flight trainer simulator facility, squadron operations facility addition and an addition to a fuel cell hangar, as well as modifications and renovations to an existing Operations Group facility.

AFCEC’s facility engineering directorate was able to package several facility requirements into the same contract, and anticipates significant time and cost savings as a result, Hodges said.

In addition to the construction planned at Altus and McConnell AFBs, AFCEC engineers are also preparing for future infrastructure development at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, which will be providing depot maintenance for the KC-46A. The NEPA Center is currently finalizing an environmental assessment at the installation, with construction planned to begin in fiscal 2015.

AFCEC will be managing the construction contracts and providing oversight at all three installations.

The first refueling tankers are scheduled to arrive in 2016, part of a 15-year beddown plan which will require additional basing decisions and military construction projects.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 17, 2014

News: U.S. Air Force tanker platform slated for year-end debut - Boeing is planning for first flight of its 767-2C – upon which the U.S. Air Force’s new KC-46 tanker will be based – by year’s end, six months late. Northrop Grumman wins $657.4 million deal to supply drones to South Korea - Northrop Grumman has won...
 
 

NASA launches new Micro-g NExT for undergraduates

NASA is offering undergraduate students an opportunity to participate in a new microgravity activity called Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams. The deadline for proposals is Jan. 28, 2015. Micro-g NExT challenges students to work in teams to design and build prototypes of spacewalking tools to be used by astronauts for spacewalk training in the...
 
 
launch1

Storm fails to quench liftoff of secret reconnaissance satellite

The fiery launch of an Atlas V (541), among the most powerful of the venerable Atlas family, briefly dispelled the gloom over Californiaís Central Coast on the evening of Dec. 12. A team of personnel from United Launch Allianc...
 

 
Coast Guard photograph

Navy demonstrates unmanned helicopter operations aboard Coast Guard cutter

http://static.dvidshub.net/media/video/1412/DOD_102145893/DOD_102145893-512×288-442k.mp4 Coast Guard photograph An MQ-8B Fire Scout UAS is tested off the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf near Los Angeles, Dec. 5 2014. The Coast...
 
 
GPS-OCX

GPS III, OCX successfully demonstrate key satellite command, control capabilities

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon successfully completed the fourth of five planned launch and early orbit exercises to demonstrate new automation capabilities, information assurance and launch readiness of the worldís most powerfu...
 
 

Aerojet Rocketdyne successfully demonstrates 3D printed rocket propulsion system for satellites

Aerojet Rocketdyne has successfully completed a hot-fire test of its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. The MPS-120 is the first 3D-printed hydrazine integrated propulsion system and is designed to provide propulsion for CubeSats, enabling missions not previously available to these tiny satellites. The project was funded out of the NASA Office of Chief...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>