Posted 2:37 PM 2/24/2012 : DM prepares for new maintenance facility
TUCSON - Davis-Monthan Air Force base held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the building of a new high-bay hangar.
The facility will be the first of its kind on base. It will be able to house up to 16, F-16s at once or two Kc-135s.
The 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group known as 309 AMARG replenishes parts of aircraft and regenerates them for foreign military sales, explained Colonel Patrick Kumashiro, the commander of AMARG.
Colonel Kumashiro said many of the facilities used by AMARG have been around for 50 years. The current hangar is open-air and the workload often depends on the weather, "Whenever we have harsh environmental conditions we have to stop work. So you know this facility will allow us to continue to work to perform critical maintenance on the aircraft that we have here at AMARG," Col. Kumashiro explained.
The 76,000 square foot facility will cost approximately $25 million. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base has been approved for $50 million in military construction costs for the fiscal year 2012.
Colonel Kumashiro said the project's existence means good things for the base, "Having AMARG and having the ability to store aircraft here is one that is just very difficult to move this anywhere. This is something that will stay here you know for a very long, long time."
Okland Construction, a company based in Phoenix will build what is referred to as the high-bay hangar. Bill Okland, who represented the company at Friday's groundbreaking said the project would create between 300 and 400 jobs. Okland said the building will be state of the art when it comes to energy efficiency, "it'll be just as comfortable as sitting in a normal office building but it won't be using nearly the energy that an office building uses."
Base officials expect construction on the facility to be complete in the fall of 2013.
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