Big money for U.K. base work
RAFs Menwith Hill and Lakenheath have requested almost $60 million to fund a range of construction projects, such as training and storage facilities, according to budget estimates for fiscal 2008.
The estimates were in the Air Force’s annual Military Construction Program report, which was submitted to Congress in February.
The largest project is a $31 million operation and technical facility at Menwith Hill, a secretive air base run by the National Security Agency that provides intelligence support to the U.S. and its allies. The report stated that the base requires a “sensitive compartmented information facility … for computer, communications and data processing equipment.”
“The facility will enable the base to collaborate with customers, increase their capability and increase production and modernization of the support network,” base civil engineer Lt. Col. Christopher O. Darling wrote in the report.
The funding is necessary for intelligence used in fighting the global war on terror, the report added.
An additional $10 million is required for availability and infrastructure upgrades to the base’s backup power capacity in order to improve its 40-year-old emergency generators, the report said.
At Lakenheath, more than $17 million was requested to fund a F-15C jet fighter operation and maintenance complex, as well as buildings for the base’s new mission involving small-diameter bombs.
Most of the funds will go toward the F-15C complex, which will consolidate aircraft operators, flight line maintainers and administration sections of the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
“Physical separation will continue to cause excessive travel time, impeding maintenance and sortie generation,” base civil engineer Lt. Col. Dimasalang F. Junio wrote in the report, citing the impacts of not having the facility.
A munitions storage igloo, maintenance facility and building extension to support the small-diameter bomb mission were proposed with the rest of the funds. This project already is under construction and is slated for completion in August, a base spokeswoman said.
The 48th Fighter Wing, based at Lakenheath, was the first to deploy with the Guided Bomb Unit-39/B small diameter bomb back in October.