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Minot AFB gearing up for major construction season

Submitted Photo Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett speaks with military families at Minot Air Force Base on March 5. Barrett’s visit focused on quality of life and included a tour of base facilities including The Turf, a warehouse converted into an indoor play facility. The facility was completed and opened in February 2019. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Josh W. Strickland.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – Assuming funding holds, it’s going to be a huge year for larger facilities sustainment, restoration, modernization and investment to Minot Air Force Base infrastructure, says the commander of the base’s 5th Civil Engineer Squadron.

“If we’re able to execute and if funding holds, this could be the largest investment infrastructure we’ve had in the history of this base – close to $100 million in facilities sustainment, restoration and modernization (FSRM) funding,” Col. Matthew Altman told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee at its March meeting at Minot AFB.

In addition to a military construction project awarded last year and the Helicopter Operations and Tactical Response Force facility that will be awarded in a short time (estimated award is June), Altman said, “All total, 170-some million dollars potential pumped into the local economy this year alone – it’s huge and we’re really excited about it.”

Looking back at projects completed in 2019, Altman listed those including:

® Medical Clinic, $38 million. Complete renovation. Completed in December 2019.

Submitted Photo Phase 3 of a mass parking apron project at Minot Air Force Base will be awarded this spring. Phase 3 has an estimated cost of $7.9 million. The seven-phase project costs a total $100 million.

® Bomber Boulevard, $6.1 million. Full depth repair of majority of primary industrial thoroughfare. Completed October 2019.

“In addition to Bomber Boulevard, we’ve been painting all over this base to improve our infrastructure,” Altman said. He said more painting will be done this year.

® Security Forces Training Center, $500,000. Renovation of classroom facility with funding from the 219th Security Forces Squadron of the North Dakota National Guard. Completed August 2019.

Paving projects completed from July 2018-November 2019 total more than $2.7 million.

Projects mainly completed but with some work remaining include:

Submitted Art A Helicopter Operations and Tactical Response Force Facility is among current and future construction projects at Minot Air Force Base. The estimated date of award for the project is June. A nine-bay facility, it will house the new MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters and tactical response force.

® Aircraft parts building, $249,000. Renovation. Estimated complete date was February.

® Indoor activities/athletic center, $284,000. The year-round fitness and recreation activities facility, “The Turf,” was completed and opened in February 2019.

“We renovated a warehouse with FY18 (fiscal year 2018) money for an indoor play facility,” Altman said. “What we’re excited about now is the future.

He said plans are to install an inflatable dome structure that would house a 300m track with field. Artificial turf would replace the grass field.

“We’re going to copy what you have downtown and put up an air-inflated structure on a newly configured track with field surface and cover it with a dome,” he said. “We’re pretty confident this is going to execute. It is hoped the project can be awarded the first part of next year,” Altman said.

He said such a facility will be a tremendous capability for the community – all the airmen and their families. He said the dome would be up about eight months of the year.

The inflatable dome structure is a fiscal year 2019-funded design and a fiscal year 2021 FSRM project for field and dome support.

® Mass parking apron. Third phase of the 60-year-old original concrete ramp, a seven-phase total $100 million project. The third phase has a $7.9 million estimated cost. The project is to be awarded this spring.

Editor’s Note: The Department of the Army awarded Strata Corp., Grand Forks, a $9.5 million contract for the removal and replacement of about 23 square yards of concrete on the mass parking apron Section III, Senators Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven announced on Thursday and Friday. The estimated contract completion date is Oct. 29.

Current construction projects include:

® Welcome Center, $389,000. Former transient living facility being renovated for a Welcome Center – a one-stop shop for new airmen. Estimated completion date is April.

® B-52 maintenance dock renovation – Dock 6. $7.5 million. Replacement of infrastructure systems, building insulation and roof replacement. Estimated completion date is May.

® Indoor firing range construction, $23.4 million. Awarded in 2019 and ground breaking in August. Estimated completion date June 2021.

® Fitness Center upgrade, $1-5 million. Heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting. HVAC fiscal year 2020 completion; lighting out for bid, fiscal year 2021.

“This is the year of opportunity in my mind,” Altman said of future construction.

Future construction include:

® B-52 maintenance dock renovation – Dock 3, $15-20 million, and Dock 5, $5-10 million. Estimated award is July.

® 91st Missile Wing Operations/Maintenance facility renovation, primarily maintenance side, $20-25 million. Two-phase project. $20-25 million. Phase 1 to upgrade existing industrial areas. Estimated award in 2020. Phase 2 includes renovation of 91st Missile Wing headquarters. Fiscal year 2022 design and fiscal year 2023 execution.

® Dakota Inn dining facility roofing replacement project, $1-3 million. Fiscal year 2020 funded; begin construction 2020.

® Paving projects. Total $1.5-2.5 million.

® Helicopter Operations and Tactical Response Force Facility, $60-70 million. Construct nine-bay facility to house new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters and tactical response force. Estimated award is June.

® Special Vehicle MX facility, $1-5 million. Construct pull-through vehicle maintenance facility to service Joint Land Tactical Vehicle, a vehicle expected to arrive in the next years. Fiscal year 2020 UMMC (unspecified minor military construction) project. 35% design complete.

Altman said currently, none of the facilities have doors large enough to drive in that massive vehicle.

® Renovate Child Development Center. $2-6 million. Convert old housing office for childcare space. Awaiting funding approval but expected to be funded in the fiscal year 2021 program.

Altman said the Child Development Center project will give four new classes for child development spaces.

5TH CE Squadron

The 5th Civil Engineer Squadron is comprised of 471 members – 329 military members and 142 civilians. Fire Emergency Services, Readiness and Emergency Management, and Explosive Ordnance Disposal are also part of the squadron. As of early March, 70 engineers from the squadron were on deployments in various areas in the world.

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