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Third pillar of 2010 plan deals with numerous support facilities, projects off the flightline

by Nick Stubbs
Thunderbolt staff writer
photo by Nick Stubbs
The new Mission Planning Center, completed this summer, is a centerpiece of the third pillar of the MacDill 2010 plan, which is the growth road map for the base. The plan deals with everything from housing and administration to infrastructure and mission-critical needs for MacDill through 2010.

A bustling base, a major hub of military operations and commands, and a destination for active and retired military, administration and mission support facilities were a primary concern of MacDill planners as they looked to the future.

The third pillar of the MacDill 2010 plan, labeled Mission Support, deals with improvement and new pieces and parts designed to support and increase the capacity of administration and training facilities. In short, the "buildings and offices that serve not only (MacDill's) customers, but the people who serve them," said Michael Cooley, chief of programs with the 6th Civil Engineer Squadron.

A first step and centerpiece of MacDill facilities is the new Mission Planning Center. Completed this summer, the center is expected to make MacDill a destination and meeting place for various functions and gatherings and will support distinguished visitors and a greater level of meeting and planning activity. The facility is shared by the 6th Air Mobility Wing, U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command. It will be utilized extensively at next year's CORONA South meeting of top Air Force generals.

Also under the mission support banner is a new security forces complex.

Estimated to cost $11.2 million, the new and much larger facility will be located near the current security forces building, but a few hundred feet to the south on the strip of land between South Boundary Road and Bayshore Boulevard. The new building will relieve the overcrowding resulting from increased security demands and a dramatic increase in security personnel since Sept. 11, 2001. The lack of elbow room became immediately apparent upon the arrival of some 160 Army reservists who arrived earlier this year to augment the security forces.

Once demolished, the current security forces site will host the new Consolidated Base Support Facility, a $13.8 million project designed to house all the key base services in one location. With essentially all support functions for active and retired military and civilians located near the main entrance, it is expected to eliminate the problem of visitors and new personnel wandering around the base looking for the building or buildings they need to visit, said Cooley.

"This (the new administration building) will greatly enhance customer service greater productivity for those who provide the service," said Cooley.

In addition to making it more convenient for those needing services and support, the centralizing of these offices will ease the security burden by keeping a good portion of base business and traffic limited to one building close to the base gates.

As planned, the facility will house the offices of finance, legal, ID cards, family support, traffic management and travel.

Other projects as part of the plan's third pillar include construction of a new, $14 million transportation and supply complex, replacing the existing building, labeled the "worst facility on base" in the 2010 plan, with problems ranging from rusting support members to a leaking roof and peeling floors.

Cooley said this complex will put transportation and supply together, which makes sense logistically following the restructuring that brought both under the single command of the new 6th Logistics Readiness Squadron.

"Although these base support facilities are apart from the flight line, they provide essential support, security, and communications to the men and women that keep our MacDill planes flying and enable our mission partners to carry out their essential roles in the global war on terrorism" said Cooley, adding there will be more to come as the base moves closer to the 2010 target date.

While plans have not been finalized, on the drawing board is the replacement of other buildings on base, including new communications and civil engineer facilities. These projects, and other base support facilities will mean new offices and administration facilities, likely will be toward the end of the 2010 plan, said Cooley.

 

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