NAVFAC Officer in Charge of Construction China Lake Breaks Ground on the Skytop Firing Bays Fifteenth MILCON of Earthquake Recovery Program

18 February 2022
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) China Lake hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on February 16, for the awarded $52 million Skytop Firing Bays project aboard Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, as part of the $2.7 billion Earthquake Recovery Program.
Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Officer in Charge of Construction (OICC) China Lake hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on February 16, for the awarded $52 million Skytop Firing Bays project aboard Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, as part of the $2.7 billion Earthquake Recovery Program.

The Skytop Firing Bays project will demolish four bays and replace three of the static firing bays that were damaged during the July 2019 earthquakes. The bays will be outfitted with supporting facilities to include storage, cranes and enclosed workspaces. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024.
OICC China Lake Construction Manager Lt Rixon Fletcher served as the master of ceremonies and provided welcoming remarks before introducing the speakers for the ceremony Harper Construction President/CEO Jeff Harper, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) Executive Director Daniel Carreno and OICC China Lake’s Commanding Officer Capt. Laurie Scott.
“These facilities behind me began construction in 1958 and were completed in 1961, consisting of then Skytop I, II and III to test Polaris rocket motors,” said OICC China Lake Commanding Officer Capt. Laurie Scott “This project will bring Skytop into the 21st century by constructing test bays that support this generation and the next generation of rocket motors.”

“Directly behind us is the heart and soul of the NAWCWD China Lake Propulsion Laboratory’s mission, where the research, development, testing and evaluation all come together. When completed these bays will restore a capability that was diminished by the July 2019 earthquakes,” said NAWCWD Executive Director Daniel Carreno.

“We here at Harper Construction are honored to be a part the earthquake recovery program and look forward to starting our third project with OICC China Lake here at the Skytop Firing Bays and to bring it to completion to restore this vital asset to the Navy,’ said Harper Construction President/CEO Jeff Harper.
NAWS China Lake is located in the Western Mojave Desert region of California, approximately 150 miles north of Los Angeles. China Lake’s mission is to support the Navy's RDT&E missions to provide cutting-edge weapons systems to the warfighter. The installation is the Navy's largest single landholding. In total, its two ranges and main site cover more than 1.1 million acres, an area larger than the state of Rhode Island.

OICC China Lake was established in August 2020 to provide engineering, acquisition, and execution oversight for military construction and repair projects caused by the devastating damage from the 6.4 and 7.1 magnitude earthquakes that occurred on July 4 and 5, 2019.
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