New shelters for 442nd FW constructed
By Tech. Sgt. Samuel Park, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 30, 2007
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
Shelters are being constructed for the 442nd Fighter Wing's A-10s between the A-10 maintenance hangers and the 509th Bomb Wing B-2 docks.
The sun shelters are being built by EDL Contracting Company. The Base Realignment and Closure Commission mandates in 2006 sent nine A-10s and roughly 200 citizen Airmen to the 442nd FW. The nine A-10's created new space requirement on the ramp.
"Basically the shelter's primary purpose is to protect resources, both human and aircraft," Maj. David Kurle, 442nd FW Chief of Public Affairs said. "The A-10 might not be the most technologically sophisticated airplane in the Air Force, but there are no more being produced so we need to protect these assets as best we can.
"The shelters will also benefit Air Force reservists in the 442nd Maintenance Group, as they too will be protected from the elements somewhat as they repair, maintain, launch and recover aircraft," he added.
The shelters, when completed, will be located right outside the 442nd FW's five-bay, maintenance hangar, Major Kurle said.
"This construction project is significant for all of Team Whiteman because it's another indication of the faith our leaders place in the mission of every unit at this base, whether it be active duty, Air Force Reserve, Army National Guard or U.S. Navy Reserve," Major Kurle said. "There are reasons the 442nd Fighter Wing gained aircraft instead of lost assets during the last round of BRAC, one of those is the outstanding quality of our people and the wing's record in combat. These shelters are a symbol that the 442nd Fighter Wing is at Whiteman to stay."
The 12 aircraft shelters are part of 14 construction projects, currently ongoing for the 442nd FW, which total $17 million.
"The two-part installation of the aircraft shelters are progressing well," said Randy White, chief 509th Civil Engineer Squadron. "The first phase, repainting stripes on the apron is complete. The second phase, assembling the shelters is well underway with three of the 12 shelters roofed. The remaining nine shelters have structural steel in various stages of erection. The Sept. 16 completion is on-track."
1st Lieutenant Terrell Eikner, 442nd Maintenance Squadron, said the shelters, which will look like giant metal carports, are going to benefit both man and machine, as they will give citizen Airmen at least some protection from the elements and help extend the service life of the A-10s.
"When you park an aircraft in the shade, it prolongs the life of the aircraft," he said. "The canopies mean we won't always have to park aircraft in a hangar when it snows. The roofs will be ready for snow loads."