Air control squadron now on firm ground in Spangdahlem
July 22, 2004
SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany — After more than a decade working out of 19 different facilities on two installations, the 606th Air Control Squadron can hang up its nomad shoes.
This month, the squadron’s 270 members started moving into three new buildings, all located on Spangdahlem Air Base.
For a unit that has spent much of the past two years deployed to Turkey, Iraq and around Europe, a consolidated homeport is a welcome change.
“This is the first time we’ve had facilities that are focused on mission specifications. They’re the perfect place to train and operate from,” said Lt. Col. Scott Fischer, 606th commander.
The squadron, one of two in Europe, deploys to remote locations to set up communications for the component command, and to control and identify aircraft.
The new facilities, which cost $14.8 million, include a squadron operations building, an electronic maintenance building and a vehicle maintenance facility.
That building, scheduled for move-in next month, has a massive parking lot out front with state-of-the-art catch basins for errant fluids from the squadron’s 230 vehicles, said Master Sgt. Patrick Ross, squadron facilities manager.
Between 1992 and 1995, the unit was housed at Bitburg Air Base, but when the operational side of that base closed, the 606th spread out to wherever it could find space.
Its vehicle maintenance shop was 14 miles from Spangdahlem, in Oberweis, making for some tricky bad-weather driving on a windy road, Ross said.
Four of the buildings were on the base demolition list because they were so decrepit, two shops were portable buildings and two were in hardened aircraft shelters.