B-52 Aircraft Maintenance facility ribbon-cutting ceremony set for Friday

New facility among $121M in on-going Minot AFB construction

Submitted Photo The new B-52 Aircraft Maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base consolidates 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron personnel from several locations into one facility. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility will be held at the base on Friday.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday for the new $17.6 million B-52 Aircraft Maintenance facility at Minot Air Force Base wraps up its construction. The ceremony is hosted by the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

A Military Construction (MilCon) project, the new facility brings together squadron personnel from several separate locations.

A $9.5 million B-52 munitions storage igloo project, scheduled for completion next month, also is part of the 69th’s bed-down.

The aircraft maintenance facility and the munitions storage igloo projects are the last projects as part of the 69th Bomb Squadron’s bed-down.

According to base information, “in 2009, the 69th Aircraft Maintenance Unit was stood up along with the 69th Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB. The 5th Bomb Wing gained 10 B-52s, along with the additional manpower to maintain these aircraft. Essentially, the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron doubled in size, driving the requirement for a larger facility. This consolidated building will bring the men and women of the 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron together, from six separate locations, to more effectively and efficiently serve the mission of the 5th Bomb Wing.”

Lt. Col. William G. Frost, commander of the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron, in a base construction report to members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee members last week, listed a number of current construction projects under way at the base.

The current construction projects include:

® $3.8 million air-launched cruise missile maintenance training facility. The facility will provide a dedicated weapons maintenance training facility. It is scheduled for completion in May.

® $2.7 million addition of office space and high bay area to the weapons storage area. The project will be completed in June.

® A $1.7 million cable fence project in missile field. The project is being done at all 15 of the missile alert facilities in the Minot missile field. Some areas have been completed. Completion of the entire project is scheduled for August.

® A $3 million weapons storage area fire team facility. The project renovates the security forces alert facility, including a vehicle bay addition. Completion is scheduled for October.

The projects are among $121 million in on-going construction projects at Minot AFB – on base, the airfield and in the missile field.

Frost said extensive work has been done on the airfield since 2013. In 2017, work wrapped up on the Alpha Hammer Head, a $4.9 million project.

Section one of the mass parking apron, a $4 million project, was completed and now work is being done on phase two, a $7.7 million project. The entire $100 million project to replace 60-year-old original concrete has an estimated completion date for July 2023.

A project that is not managed by the Civil Engineer Squadron but under way is the $40 million project to completely renovate the medical facility on base. The various hospital offices and services are moving to temporary facilities adjacent to the medical facility where they will continue to provide quality services. Frost said estimated completion of the hospital renovation is September 2020.

He said future construction projects, all currently in design, include a B-52 corrosion control hangar (estimated cost $10-15 million), ballistic protection at all missile alert facilities (estimated cost $5-10 million), indoor firing range (estimated cost $20-25 million) and a helicopter operations and tactical response force facility (estimated cost $60-70 million).

Minot AFB has about 12,000 personnel. The 5th Bomb Wing has the B-52 bombers and the 91st Missile Wing has Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Minot missile field.