Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a $46.5 million firm-fixed-price contract, Dec. 30, to B. L. Harbert International, LLC, for the construction of facilities to support MQ-9 operations from the 25th Attack Group (ATKG) at Shaw Air Force Base (AFB). This announcement fulfills a major component of Air Combat Command’s Culture and Process Improvement Plan to strengthen the MQ-9 enterprise.
The MQ-9 Reaper is an armed, multi-mission, medium-altitude, long-endurance remotely piloted aircraft operated by Airmen of the 432nd Wing/432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, which is composed of units spread across Creech, Shaw, Ellsworth and Whiteman AFBs.
“These facilities will serve as a warfighting center of excellence for the MQ-9 weapon system,” said Col. Timothy Monroe, 25th ATKG commander. “Our facilities are a quintessential part of our weapon system, and once complete, these construction improvements will usher in a new era for Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).”
The contract provides for construction of two new buildings, a headquarters building and an operations building, which will house a multitude of various MQ-9 missions in support of the RPA program and operation needs.
“As a rapidly developed and heavily demanded combat asset, Air Force RPA Airmen have made do with non-standard facilities for many years. These state of the art facilities are a welcomed addition to the MQ-9 weapon system,” Monroe said. “Our Airmen and leaders will use them to drive new and innovative airpower solutions for our combatant commanders.”
The facilities design will utilize the rooflines to create a visually integrated complex while establishing a strong Air Force mission presence. The complex will be focused around an exterior courtyard that promotes interaction amongst squadron personnel while allowing for a shared entry access point from the parking areas.
The contract has options, and if exercised, will provide for a roadway and roundabout, landscape architecture enhancements, overhead electrical line relocation, data center cabinets and racks at the operations building, an electronic security system (ESS) at the operations building, an ESS at the headquarters building, audio visual package, furniture, fixtures and equipment at the headquarters and operations buildings.
The construction is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 2022.