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Buckley continues to grow

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Nineteen military construction projects at Buckley, from the Fitness Center to a new Small Arms Range, are listed in a long-term plan for facilities directed by the 460th Civil Engineer Squadron. The plan was required by the Air Force when Buckley stood up as an Air Force base in 2000.

Quality of Life projects are planned, projects for other military services are in design and Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, projects for units coming to Buckley are in the works as well.

Under the stand-up plan, construction projects at Buckley have either been completed, are under way, or are proposed for as far into the future as 2015.

In February 2003, the 460th CES gave authorization for construction to proceed on the first project on the stand-up list, the Fitness Center, according to Daniel Kawamoto, 460th CES Engineering Flight chief. The Fitness Center was completed in February 2004.

In the same year, a second dormitory was completed, followed in 2005 by completion of the 460th Space Wing Headquarters Building, an upgrade of the base's infrastructure and completion of the Air National Guard's 140th CES complex.

In 2006, the Chapel, Child Development Center and Medical Clinic additions and alterations were completed. In 2007, 351 privatized housing units and a Consolidated Services Administration Building were completed.

A Leadership Development Center and Communications Center additions and alterations are close to completion. "Expected occupancy of the Leadership Development Center is August, and we expect the Communications Center to be in 'move-in condition' in September," said Elizabeth Meyer, 460th CES Engineering Flight deputy chief.

A consolidated fuels facility and a visitors quarters/temporary lodging facility are scheduled for completion in 2009, Meyer said. The VQ and TLF will be housed in the same building with hotel rooms in one section for visitors. Lodging in another section will be for personnel transferring to or from Buckley, who are awaiting permanent housing or whose household goods have been shipped to their next duty station.

The remaining projects on the stand-up plan consist of a security forces operations facility, programmed for 2010; a logistics complex, 2013; an education center to include a library, 2013; a government vehicle maintenance facility, 2015; and a small arms range, 2015.

The stand-up plan represents only part of Buckley's projected construction.

Quality of life construction is ongoing and since 2000, some of the completed projects in this category include an outdoor recreational facility and a track.

Construction projects not on the stand-up plan but in the design stage or under construction include a consolidated fuels facility; a family camp area designed with 38 camping sites; a satellite pharmacy; a mail center; youth center; and a military working dog kennel.

Additionally, three BRAC projects are in the works: a building for the Air Force Reserve Personnel Center, one for the 310th Mission Support Group Security Forces Squadron and one for the 310th MSG Headquarters Training Facility.

The infrastructure to support these projects, Meyer said, includes realigning Aspen Way, upgrades to utilities and communication ducts, the addition of a Mississippi gate vehicle lane and storm water management.

Meyer pointed out that the Mississippi gate vehicle lane is to add a new inbound lane, not to add an inspection area for commercial vehicles.

Funding for construction flows from different avenues: appropriated funding, non-appropriated funding, Sustainment, Restoration, Modernization Construction funding (SRMC), P-341 funding and BRAC funding.

Appropriated funding is appropriated by Congress every year, Meyer said.

Non-appropriated funding is used for areas that are expected to generate revenue, such as the Army Air Force Exchange Service Car Wash and most Services Division projects such as the Visitors Quarters, Meyer said.

SRMC funding is intended for recurring maintenance including mechanical systems, roofs, carpeting and coats of paint, as well as repairs, and replacement and restoration of existing facilities, Meyer said. These funds have caps on the cost of each project.

P-341 funding is for emergency military construction.

"We go to Congress and ask for emergency funds for something we need now that we didn't foresee needing, but which will make a major impact on our mission at Buckley," said Meyer, explaining the process of P-341 funding. "Seven years ago we did not foresee the need to relocate the Military Working Dog Kennel in an area away from our residential community, but it's best for the dogs to be in a setting away from the residents."

The 460th CES was able to approach Congress for emergency funds through Air Force Space Command, and P-341 funding was awarded but ground has not yet broken on the new kennel, Meyer said. A new use for the old MWD kennel has not yet been determined, she added.

BRAC has its own funds for construction projects which are handled directly by the BRAC office at Air Force Reserve Command for the three new buildings, Meyer said.

Tenant military construction is another category of projects. The Army Aviation Support Facility and the air control tower are two projects that have been completed in support of their missions.

"We appreciate the Buckley community's patience with all the construction and we're working hard to provide a quality base that people will enjoy as a workplace, living space and recreational area," Meyer said.

Buckley's long history includes serving as the first stand-alone Air National Guard installation in the United States from 1960 to 2000. In October 2000, the 821st Space Group became the host unit and the base was renamed Buckley Air Force Base, ending a notable chapter in the history of Buckley Air National Guard Base.

In 2001, the 460th Air Base Wing stood up and transitioned into its role as host unit of the base, and in August 2004, the 460th Air Base Wing was renamed the 460th Space Wing and assumed the base's space mission as well as responsibility for running the installation.
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