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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Officials have mapped out a 20-year blueprint that charts a course for future base construction projects.

It’s aimed at revitalizing old infrastructure through overhauling the buildings on Yokota devoted to residential, recreational and mission support, according to Capt. Paul A. Frantz, the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron’s chief of base development.

“Many of the facilities at Yokota are from the World War II era and are well past their service life,” he said, adding that the draft targets five specific areas for facility and land-use projects: flightline, airmen training grounds, community core, dorms and Yokota’s west side.

In addition, Frantz said, a U.S.-funded multiyear effort is under way to thoroughly renovate 1,679 military family housing units. The project, designed to bring all units up to current Air Force standards, focuses on improving kitchens and upgrading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

New construction in base family housing areas is not planned, he said.

Civil engineer officials declined to speculate on a price tag for the Yokota Base General Plan, citing multiple variables and saying future contractual hurdles make pinpointing a figure impossible.

“There has been and continues to be millions of dollars put into sustaining Yokota Air Base,” Lt. Col. Lance Hafeli, 374th Civil Engineer Squadron commander, said Thursday. “We would hope to see the same type of investment for years to come.”

According to Frantz, determining new construction costs depends on the type of project, available funding and amount of time contracted companies take to finish a job. In general, large projects at Yokota are carried out with appropriated, nonappropriated or host-nation funds.

Due to evolving mission requirements and funding uncertainties, he said, timetables also haven’t been attached to the facilities plan. However, work in all five areas should be completed within the next two decades.

Frantz said the new construction isn’t expected to affect troop counts at Yokota, provided they remain at current levels. Some 11,500 people now live and/or work on base, including roughly 4,500 active-duty members and 2,000 Japanese employees.

If that changes, project adjustments would be made accordingly, Frantz said.

Improvements

The Yokota Base General Plan consists of five areas expected to receive facility and land-use improvements in the next 20 years. A look at each:

Flightline development: Revitalizing most operations, maintenance and logistics facilities on and around the flightline. Includes new hangars, a new control tower, upgraded air freight terminal and new digital airfield surveillance radar. Many existing flightline facilities date back to between 1943 and 1947 and are in need of replacement.Samurai Training Grounds: An initiative to transform the block between the Mission Support Group headquarters facility (Building 316) and the Samurai Fitness Center (Building 689) into a combined training and fitness field, park and mass gathering area at the center of base. All the facilities in this vicinity are well beyond their life cycle and projected for demolition. This effort includes an addition to the main gym, a running track, outdoor athletic courts and exercise stations. Plans also call for a C-130 static display nearby along Airlift Avenue.Community core: This addresses the portion of land in front of and immediately next to the Yokota Community Center, which houses the Base Exchange, commissary and food court. The plan includes a new Chili’s Restaurant, as well as force-protection, traffic and parking adjustments.Dorm area: More pedestrian paths will be made to create additional green space and recreation areas. A cornerstone project under design is the Airmen’s Center, which involves a significant renovation of the Yujo Community Center. The Airmen’s Center will feature several activities aimed at Yokota dorm residents.West side (specifically the portion of land between Highway 16 and the railroad track): Intended to make the area friendlier to pedestrians, resolve traffic problems, enhance perimeter security and more effectively use available land. Efforts began with last year’s grand opening of the Army and Air Force Exchange Service’s BXtra and recently relocated Tomadachi Lanes. The bowling center received a Design Excellence Award from Pacific Air Forces.— Source: 374th Civil Engineer Squadron

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