SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment (AFCEE) Director Terry Edwards visited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Pacific Division Headquarters July 18 to discuss Air Force priorities with the team that oversees military construction execution at 11 Air Force bases in Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico.
Edwards guides AFCEE’s management of the Air Force’s military and housing construction and environmental restorations programs worldwide. The Army Corps of Engineers is the Air Force’s design and construction agent for new military facilities, and the South Pacific Division currently manages the largest Air Force military construction program in the Corps.
Edwards said that for the next five years most Air Force military construction in the region supports new missions. This includes the upcoming bed downs of the
• F-35 Joint Strike Fighter at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., and Hill Air Force Base, Utah,
• F-16 Fighting Falcon at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., and
• AC-130 Gunship at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M.
The Albuquerque, Los Angeles and Sacramento Districts are managing construction, which includes everything from new squadron operations and training facilities to aircraft hangers, simulators, dormitories, a dental clinic, fitness centers and a new waste water treatment plant.
South Pacific Division currently supports a $268 million program at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., for the Air Force Special Operations Command. The Division Military Programs Chief Julio Arocho suggested that Cannon Air Force base in New Mexico’s high desert offers tremendous opportunities to build energy efficient facilities that meet Air Force sustainable design goals. More than 20 projects are scheduled during the next three years with opportunities to take full advantage of solar, wind and other energy efficient technologies.
Another significant priority is environmental cleanup. The Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for the Environment’s number one priority is the ongoing Bulk Fuels spill remediation effort at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M. The Corps’ Albuquerque District is helping to manage the data gathering effort to define the extent of the fuel contamination. COL Wehr assured Edwards the Corps is fully committed to success and fully supports the Air Force’s effort to keep surrounding community residents informed. The cleanup site was the first project Wehr visited during his introductory tour of Corps’ work in New Mexico this month. The Corps knows successful remediation efforts are critical for the Air Force, residents of Albuquerque and the surrounding Pueblos and communities, Wehr said.
The USACE South Pacific Division oversees major military construction for the Air Force Center at Beale, Cannon, Creech, Davis Monthan, Edwards, Hill, Holloman, Kirtland, Luke, Nellis, and Vandenberg Air Force Bases.