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Civil Engineers juggle many projects

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Joseph R. Stahl
  • 178th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
     It takes only a casual observer driving by the 178th Fighter Wing to realize there are several major construction projects in the works as well as many minor ones that are keeping base civil engineer, Maj. Robert Toney and his team quite busy these days.
     The State Route 794 reroute will affect the most people. This reroute is being managed by the Ohio Department of Transportation, costing an estimated $2,013,619 and is scheduled to be completed by November. This reroute will bring the 178 FW in line with Department of Defense anti-terrorism/force protection clearance requirements.
     A new main gate has been funded and will be built concurrently with the SR 794 reroute.
     "My goal, if I can have the [new gate] construction completed at the same time that the 794 construction is done, and the old 794 abandoned, you start going through the new main gate," said Toney.
     The current main gate will be an alternate gate and will primarily be used for unit training assemblies.
     The City of Springfield is upgrading sewer lines along SR 794 and the base's fence line. That project should be completed by the end of this summer, according to Toney.
     The $7.2 million designated for a construction project at the 178th included in President Obama's 2014 budget will be used to convert a building to support the National Air and Space Intelligence Center. Pending congressional budget approval, construction could begin as soon as next year
     "When completed, the new facility will allow us to bring all of our analysts back to Springfield, said Lt. Col. Rebecca O'Connor, Intelligence Group commander, "while still maintaining connectivity to our mission partners."
     Another new and separate project is the construction of a state-of-the-art fueling station that will be built on the current Petroleum, Oil and Lubricants facility. This facility will be for fueling military vehicles.
     "There will be a new fuel station that you will go to," says Toney "It will look much nicer than it is now; instead of just a hose connected to the tank, it will look like a service station."
     The Reconnaissance Group building is at 40 percent complete and should be completed in December.
     Toney said this will be, "one of the premier Predator buildings in the U.S. Air Force when it's all done."
     The Ohio National Guard 37th Special Troops Battalion will be moving into the vacant aircraft hangar. The wing is actively searching for new residents for some of the other vacant buildings on base caused by the recent mission changes. Buildings that cannot be reallocated will potentially need to be demolished, according to Toney.
     Completing a power upgrade on base is another important project at the 178 FW. Improved power on base is critical to sustaining the new missions here.
     There are also renovations and upgrades being accomplished and are in the works for several other buildings on base. Several buildings are configured for missions that we no longer have. In some cases, significant updates will be made to more suit today's missions, said Toney.
     Toney has a team of professionals that are helping him to manage all of these projects. They include Capt. Emerson Slack, deputy base civil engineer, Mr. Jason Zimmerman, sustainment, restoration, modernization project manager, Mr Don Fosnight, military construction project inspector and Chief Master Sgt. James Baker, facilities manager.
     Wing commander Col. Gregory Schnulo sees all these construction projects as positive improvements for the wing.
     "When you look at how the 178 FW will look in the future, these projects will make us a joint base, well capable and secure to perform the state-of-the-art missions assigned," said Schnulo.