Posts Tagged ‘Elmendorft Air Force Base’

USACE Around the World Part 2 Alaska

March 17th, 2008
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(Originally posted March 17, 2008)

Special Guest Posting by MG Bo Temple
After a few days enjoying one of coldest Okinawan winters in recent memory (with lows in the 50s), I went “North, to Alaska” to spend some time with Colonel Kevin Wilson and his great team at the Alaska Engineer District.  I was pleased to hear that I had missed the cold snap a couple weeks prior to my visit, and enjoyed the weather in the 20s and 30s.
The good weather allowed us to travel north from the district office to visit a variety of projects in central Alaska.  I was very excited to see the rehabilitated Central Heating and Power Plant at Ft. Wainwright. This project was completed about a year ago by a highly competent crew led by a great engineer named John. This critical facility upgraded the heating and electric power sources for all the facilities and housing on the military installation.  In a place where temperatures drop to minus 40 degrees, heating and power are an absolute necessity and this new facility provides peace of mind to the Soldiers and their Families who depend on it. 
The gang at the Central Heating and Power Plant at Ft. Wainwright

The gang at the Central Heating and Power Plant at Ft. Wainwright

My next stop was the new post hospital. The hospital commander and staff were very pleased with the facility constructed by Roger, the project manager, and his team. We all know how important it is to provide quality health care to Soldiers and their families; this facility helps ensure the Army is keeping its promise to do that.
I also had the opportunity to see some of the family housing at Fort Wainwright, which was truly impressive. My executive officer, Major Rob Kimmel, and I walked through a company grade officer’s quarters. We both were amazed by the quality, the layout, and the size of the quarters. These houses, being constructed by Phil and his team, are the kind of quarters that a Soldier can be proud to live in. 
Then it was off to visit Fort Greely, where we toured a group of facilities recently constructed for the Missile Defense Program.  These highly technical facilities have to be constructed to exacting standards, and our team is meeting that challenge head-on.  Their support to the Soldiers who man the facilities is critical to our national defense.  The customer was very pleased with the outstanding work we have done, as well as the work that is on-going.
At Eielson Air Force Base, I toured a new chapel that is under construction.  The project is beautifully designed and won a prestigious design award. The project manager, Jeff, and the rest of the team are building a facility that the Airmen and their families will enjoy for years to come.  Similarly, Jack, a Quality Assurance Representative, is helping construct a gorgeous expansion project at the Eielson Fitness Facility that will provide an indoor track and exercise field that Airmen will be enjoying during the long winter months for years to come.
I then headed south to Fort Richardson and Elmendorf Air Force Base.  These two bases are being combined in a new Joint Basing Initiative and will soon be known simply as Elmendorf.  The merger changes the way the district interacts with the bases, and changes the types of facilities we are constructing.  Colonel Wilson and his team are doing an outstanding job working through the issues as they come up, ensuring that they continue to provide the same high level of support to the customer. 
I visited a number of projects on both sides of the base, including some barracks constructed using the standard designs developed through our new operating principles, known as Military Construction Transformation. This is our initiative to deliver projects at a 15 percent savings from traditional cost expectations, while reducing construction time by 30 percent. I was impressed by our team and by the quality of the facilities being constructed at or below the programmed amount.
After this long trip, I returned home for a couple of days to thaw out before hitting the road again – next I’ll tell you about my visit to Fort Drum, N.Y. – where the people warmed my heart, even though the weather was freezing!

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