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NEWS | July 3, 2008

Transforming Andrews’ Landscape

By Lt. Col. Brian P. Duffy 316th Civil Engineer Squadron Commander

It seems everywhere you look on Andrews lately, something is under construction, major renovation, or extensive repair. In concert with several other agencies on base, on May 28, we provided the installation's combined leadership a comprehensive update on the major facility and infrastructure projects going on around the base. While the prospect of a 100+ slide briefing was daunting, it served as a watershed event, highlighting the tremendous work of a great team to improve the landscape at Andrews. The 316 CES, in partnership with the Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, and 316th Contracting Squadron, is overseeing in excess of $97 million in projects. Chief among these are the construction of a new $42 million, 265-room Visitor's Quarters (scheduled for completion in October 2009), installation of new high expansion foam fire suppression systems in three aircraft hangars, and countless smaller projects to improve roads, roofs, and major infrastructure systems. Our partners at the Headquarters Air National Guard Readiness Center are overseeing more than $57 million in work to double the size of their current facility because more than 600 personnel are to relocate to Andrews as a result of BRAC. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington, not only assisting with some of the larger scale military construction or Air Force Lodging Fund projects on base, is also supporting the Naval Air Facility Washington with improvements to facility and infrastructure systems on their portion of the base. The 113th Wing is active in this area as well, with more than $15 million in projects ongoing, concentrated mainly in their maintenance hangars and squadron operations facilities. With the Air Force on board with privatizing elements of our physical plant to comply with improvements directed by Office of the Secretary of Defense, our associates in Terrapin Utility Services, Incorporated who, under a 50-year agreement with Andrews, now own and operate the base's water and wastewater distribution systems, have been busy over the last two years with significant improvements to each. During this period, they've made remarkable progress by installing more than 14,000 feet of water mains and upgraded or replaced more than 25,000 feet of sewer mains on the north and east sides of the base. In our housing area, our allies from Clark Realty Capital and their associate firms, have begun the first real visible capital improvements by demolishing more than 190 houses on the west side of the base. At the current pace of progress, the 130+ new homes that will go in their place are predicted to be ready for occupancy by as early as the spring of next year. This continues over the next six years as we draw down our housing inventory from over 1300 homes to 887, a timeline that would be a significant challenge for the Air Force to meet using the military construction program. Now, if all that wasn't enough, our new headquarters at the Air Force District of Washington has been busy advocating for future needs. For example, they're leading our final requirements build for our new Strategic Planning and Development Center. This $29 million facility, funded in the Fiscal Year 2007, will provide secure meeting space sized to accommodate larger functions that commercial facilities in the National Capital Region are unable to handle. To support other needs around the installation, AFDW was successful in negotiating $45 million in advanced contracting authority to support a significant investment in the Andrews airfield, continued work on our electrical distribution system, and other similar work to improve facilities, roads, roofs, quality of life areas, and to demolish older facilities that no longer meet mission requirements. With a tremendous amount of construction activity ongoing in a variety of functional areas, supporting mission, mission support, and community support activities, it's a great time to be at Andrews.