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Michigan National Guard breaks ground on Organizational Maintenance Shop facility, Air Operations Group facility and introduces the new C-27J Aircraft at Battle Creek Air National Guard BaseOctober 13, 2010
LANSING, MICH. - Maj. Gen. Thomas G. Cutler, U.S. Senator Carl Levin, and State Representative Mark Schauer will break ground in a big way Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010 at three locations in western Michigan. The first event will begin at 11:30 a.m., at Fort Custer Army National Guard Base introducing plans for an Organizational Maintenance Shop facility. Immediately following, at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base will be a groundbreaking of the Air Operations Group facility with the finale being a reveal of the C-27J aircraft at the BCANGB location. Due to time constraints questions and interviews will be permitted only at the final event location.
The Organizational Maintenance Shop at Fort Custer will provide a new 30,000 square foot facility to maintain and repair more than 1,500 military vehicles and systems located in southwest Michigan. The facility will provide drive-through capability and enough space to allow the oversized vehicle transport trailers working bays to allow year-round service. The facility replaces inadequate converted storage buildings now serving as the consolidated maintenance shop for Army National Guard units in the region. Approximately 60 personnel, both military and civilian will be employed at the facility. The personnel will provide critical services for the oversized Heavy Equipment Transport vehicles and a vast array of other military systems. Initial construction of the $7.2 million facility is part of the Military Construction Program (MILCON), a federal funded program through the Department of Defense. The project is scheduled to begin late this fall with an expected completion date in early 2012. During construction, more than 50 personnel from various trades will be employed along with a multitude of others including: manufacturers, suppliers, designers, engineers, and administrative staffs.
The new $8.8 million Air Operations Group Facility at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base includes two buildings with a total of 60,800 square feet. The project was designed by Benham Companies architectural services at a cost of nearly $1 million and will be built by Beckering Advisor Group of Grand Rapids with an aggressive completion schedule set for April 2012. The mission of the AOG is to support U.S. Africa Command, to command and control air forces, to conduct security engagement and operations, and to promote air safety, security and development. The AOG partnership has been recognized as integral to the success of the air component in Africa.
Battle Creek Air National Guard Base is scheduled to take delivery of four C-27J Spartan tactical transport aircrafts following a memorandum of agreement signed in 2006 between the vice chiefs of staff of the Air Force and the Army. The C-27J is a small tactical airlifter designed to carry cargo and personnel to unimproved runways near forward operating locations. In a time of war many of the missions flown will be in support of the Army requirements commonly referred to as "the last tactical mile." These missions will fly the needed cargo directly to far-flung outposts thus reducing the number of vulnerable road convoys previously needed to move that cargo. In a peacetime role the aircraft can be used to move personnel and relief supplies directly to areas affected by a natural disaster that are far from large airports or where airports have been damaged.
The C-27J facility project consists of four smaller projects totaling $13.8 million and include; a new fuel cell facility to maintain the C-27J fuel systems, conversion of the maintenance hangars to support C-27J maintenance operations, conversion of the existing fuel cell facility to a 10,000 square foot Air Terminal Operations Center, and a $930,000 investment to reconfigure the Squadron Operations facility to support the new mission. Work on the projects will begin in December 2010 with completion dates in 2012 ahead of the C-27J arrivals.
The C-27J Aircraft introduction will take place at hangar 6901, a short distance from the Air Operations Group facility groundbreaking.
Together these projects represent significant economic growth and development for the state both in the short term as the facilities are constructed and long term as employment opportunities and military capabilities increase.
For more information about the events contact Angela Simpson in the Michigan National Guard Public Affairs Office at 517-481-8135 or 517-449-8893 on the day of the event.
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