By Earl Bittner, NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast handed over a new 46,300 square-foot paint and blast facility onboard Marine Corps Support Facility April 3 in Jacksonville, Fla.
The $18.5 million design-bid-build project was awarded in September 2011 and construction began in January 2012.
"This new facility is state of the art and light years ahead of the old 1977 building built to support the floating nuclear power program," said Commanding Officer, Blount Island Command and Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island Col. Matthew Crabill.
"This building will alleviate the last and final choke point on Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island in support of the Maritime Prepositioning Force (MPF) maintenance cycle. It will allow us to adequately and efficiently process the large pieces of equipment that must be processed through the three stage process (blast/paint/cure) prior to their redeployment, ultimately allowing us to perform more functions in-house instead of offsite."
The new paint and blast facility just completed will be used to process all retrograde vehicles from conflict areas. Examples of equipment include tanks and MRAPs. It is sized to enable movement of the largest piece of equipment through the building using a 25-foot-wide by 90-foot-long lighterage unit crawler type vehicle. The building will house blast, paint and cure booths, each separated with integral booth closure doors.
The blast, paint and cure booths are each 100 feet long by 45 feet wide by 35 feet high. Each booth is further compartmentalized by an internal door in the center. The booths are capable of being further subdivided to process smaller vehicles and equipment with internal doors similar to the booth closure doors. An overhead monorail with two cranes can be used for moving pieces of immobile equipment through the booths.
The Blast Booth contains a grit collection and dust collection system. The Paint Booth has a full control system for lighting, ventilation and safety equipment PLC controls and the Cure Booth contains a closed loop dehumidification system capable of removing 45 gallons of solvent/water per hour.
The building also includes 2,500 square-feet of conditioned office space, a 3,400 square-foot electrical and mechanical area, a 1,600 square-foot preparation area and 2,500 square-feet of open mechanical storage area.
"Seventy-five to 80 percent of the work we do on equipment returned to Blount Island is corrosion control once it returns here for work," said Naval Support Management Branch Head, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island Lt. Cmdr. Reuben Chonna. "Previous to the construction of the new paint and blast facility, a great deal of the corrosion control work was completed offsite. This new facility will save the Navy a great deal time, money, and effort and will also enable us to return the equipment to the fleet sooner."
The building was constructed using innovative designs with the intent of pursuing LEED Silver Certification. The facility features an environmentally friendly closed loop system where air is continuously recirculated within the cure booth - no make-up air/exhaust is required. Other features of the LEED design include ductless splits that provide climate control in four areas of the building.
As the hub of the Marine Corps' prepositioning programs, Marine Corps Support Facility Blount Island serves as the home of Blount Island Command (BIC) and its worldwide mission supporting Marine expeditionary forces. BICs Marines, sailors, civilians, and defense contractor partners are dedicated to providing Marines with the best combat ready equipment and supplies in the world.