Construction underway at Minot AFB

Submitted Photo Civic leaders, government officials and senior leaders break ground at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Helicopter Operations Facility on Aug. 15, 2023, at Minot Air Force Base. The facility is among several current construction projects underway at the base. U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Evan Lichtenhan.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE – The construction of a $139 million operations facility to house new helicopters coming to the base is among several projects underway at the installation. A number of other projects are planned for the future.

Lt. Col. Scott Howe, commander of the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron, presented the annual construction report this month to members of the Minot Area Chamber EDC’s Military Affairs Committee.

The base was primarily constructed in the 1950s and 1960s.

“Now we’re getting to the end of the lifecycle of those facilities,” Howe said. He said they are getting ready for a significant reinvestment with respect to infrastructure.

Current projects include:

– Helicopter Operations Facility

Construction started June 23, 2023, on the helicopter operations facility. Currently 5% complete, it will be a nine-bay facility to house the 54th Helicopter Squadron’s new MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters and the 91st Security Forces Group Tactical Response Force.

– Special Vehicle Maintenance Facility

A $5 million facility for special vehicle maintenance is 25% complete. Construction started on the facility July 23, 2023. A pull-through vehicle maintenance facility, it will enable servicing large mission essential vehicles such as fire trucks and snowplows.

– Dormitory Renovation

A $12.5 million project started Jan. 24 to renovate an entire dormitory, Building 131. The project is 3% complete.

– Airman Leadership School Addition

Construction started April 24 to add two classrooms to the Airman Leadership School and conduct renovation in the existing facility. The project costs $3 million.

Current projects are financed with Military Construction (MILCON), minor MILCON or Operations & Maintenance (O&M) funds. The Military Construction program provides congressional authorization and appropriation of funds. O&M appropriations finance the cost of operating and maintaining equipment at a state of readiness.

Future projects

– Dual B-52 Hangar

A more than $10 million drive-through hangar would house B-52s and an overnight dormitory space to support rapid deployment missions. Currently, the project has not been funded.

– New Dormitories and Dining Facility

A more than $10 million project would construct two new dormitories to house more than 300 unaccompanied airmen and include a dining facility. The project has not been funded.

Howe said there is a dorm deficit at the base.

“We’ve got about 1,100 dorm bed spaces on the installation,” he said. He said the dorms are intended to house first-term airmen for about the three-year mark. Right now, he said, they have enough dorm space to get first-term airmen to about the two-year time mark.

“With the change in force structure and authorized versus manpower assigned, we’ve got a new dorm deficit that we’re predicting will be approved and we need about 300 more dorm bed spaces,” Howe said. He said they are working to get more dormitories “so we can better serve those first-term airmen and give them the option to stay on the installation for that intended three-year time period.”

– Renovate Child Development Center

A $1-5 million project to renovate the Child Development Center would include a complete building renovation and installation of a playroom, a youth STEM room and offices for the 5th Force Support Squadron, including office space for the Family Child Care program. Central funds are available for the project and it is 100% designed. The project is expected to be awarded this summer.

– Repair Mass Parking Apron Slabs

Costing more than $10 million, the project would replace about 480,070 square feet of failing 15-inch thick concrete pavement. The project is the fifth phase of an 11 phase project. Unfunded centrally, it is priority #1 for Minot AFB for fiscal year 2025.

– Consolidate and Demolish Parachute Shop

A $1-10 million project would relocate the old parachute shop to a new addition on Building 475, renovate office and storage space and demolish the old parachute shop. A #3 priority for Minot AFB for fiscal year 2025, it is unfunded centrally.

– Renovate Turf Building

A more than $10 million project, it would renovate and convert portions of the mixed-use Turf Building, Building 145, to provide spatial accommodations for the Comptroller Squadron, Force Support Squadron and Traffic Management Office. The planning charrette has been completed but the project has not been funded. It is priority #4 for Minot AFB for fiscal year 2026.

– Renovate PRIDE Building

At a cost of $10 million, the PRIDE building would be renovated and reorganized. The planning charrette has been completed but the project is unfunded. It is priority #6 for Minot AFB for fiscal year 2026.

The projects are not the complete list of current and future construction projects.

Planned new mission future projects

– Sentinel and Long-Range Stand Off Missile

Two new major projects with construction scheduled to start in 2027 are the Sentinel (formerly called Ground Based Strategic Deterrence or GBSD), a project to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Minot missile field and renovate Missile Alert Facilities and Launch Facilities, which entails construction of multiple communication towers and renovation of multiple facilities on Minot AFB; and the Long-Range Stand Off Missile (LRSO) to replace the Air-Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) for the B-52. Funding has been promised for both projects. Design for both projects is scheduled to start in 2025.

Besides the parachute shop, a number of buildings are planned for demolition in the future, including the North Plains Chapel, Rapcon (Radar Approach Control) Center, Parachute Shop and Recreation Facility.

Howe said the 5th Civil Engineer Squadron has 514 funded positions – 347 military and 167 civilian. Of those who work with construction, he said, they are associated with construction projects from the start to the conclusion.


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