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Free Concerts Coming to Joint Base Andrews as Engineers Build New Heritage Park

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, speaks to 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen about the vision of the Heritage Park project near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The groundwork for the park is slated to be completed by the end of June. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, speaks to 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen about the vision of the Heritage Park project near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The groundwork for the park is slated to be completed by the end of June. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Staff Sgt. Adam Haviland, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment supervisor, instructs Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, how to operate construction vehicles before moving a large dirt pile in the development site for Heritage Park at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The site is being completed in two phases with the second phase slated to be completed next calendar year. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Staff Sgt. Adam Haviland, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron pavements and heavy equipment supervisor, instructs Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, how to operate construction vehicles before moving a large dirt pile in the development site for Heritage Park at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The site is being completed in two phases with the second phase slated to be completed next calendar year. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, operates a construction vehicle at the site currently in development for Heritage Park near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The park will be a new landmark on base to celebrate military heritage and culture. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, operates a construction vehicle at the site currently in development for Heritage Park near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The park will be a new landmark on base to celebrate military heritage and culture. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, operates a construction vehicle at the site currently in development for Heritage Park near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The park will display a grass field and static displays of military aircrafts when construction is complete. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander, operates a construction vehicle at the site currently in development for Heritage Park near the main entrance at Joint Base Andrews, Md., June 5, 2014. The park will display a grass field and static displays of military aircrafts when construction is complete. (U. S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Joshua R. M. Dewberry)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- Construction for Joint Base Andrews' Heritage Park began June 2 and is expected to be ready for a public concert scheduled for Saturday, July 12, 2014. Heritage Park, located near the base's Allentown Rd. gate, will be designed to host community outreach events on the installation.

"Heritage Park will allow us to personally thank our local community while we demonstrate many of our mission capabilities to the general public," said Col. Bill Knight, 11th Wing/Joint Base Andrews commander. "The park will also provide an ideal venue to showcase the Air Force's premier ceremonial units to residents living near the southeastern corner of the beltway."

The park will create a new location for interaction with the civilian community.

"By opening our gates to the public, Joint Base Andrews is continuing a tradition of celebrating the heritage of the Armed Forces with our friends and neighbors," said Knight. "We are grateful to our community partners for opening their parking lots directly across Allentown road from our pedestrian gate on concert nights--we know our local community will love these free events."

Knight went on to say that, while base officials are excited about the long-term benefits to community relations, the project has enabled local Airmen to refresh hands-on readiness skills that atrophied during sequestration. This 24-hour-a-day project has facilitated valuable training honing skills our combat engineers employ during contingencies such as preparing an austere base for operations.

"Over 1,000 man hours have been put into the project so far by the 11th Civil Engineer Squadron, with help from engineers from the 113th Air National Guard," said 2nd Lt. Christopher Schmidt, 11th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy resource advisor and the project's officer-in-charge. "From the construction of the project to the design and use of the parade grounds, the park will be a tribute to the military."

The park is being built in two phases. The first phase, currently under construction, will be drainage and concrete surrounding a grass field in the center. Phase two, slated to begin next year, will include a brick wall marking the site and three static displays of military aircrafts.

A second free concert is planned for Saturday, Sept. 6, and will also be open to the general public.