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MCAS Beaufort ramping up construction in 2016

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort | February 4, 2016

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  Construction is underway on many new facilities aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort with multiple projects slated to begin in 2016. New buildings will change the landscape of the air station and upgrade the facilities available to Marines.  

  “The biggest construction project at the moment is the new hangar,” said Scott Roberts, the base architect aboard MCAS Beaufort. “This is our second F-35B hangar on the air station.”

  Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 is currently the only F-35 squadron aboard the air station. They serve to train pilots and mechanics from around the Marine Corps and around the world. The new hangar will be used by VMFA-115 when they switch to an F-35 squadron sometime in 2017.

  “This is a brand new, state-of-the-art facility with all the workings of a modern F-35 hangar,” said Pete Robson, the supervisory construction manager with public works aboard MCAS Beaufort. “It will have an updated electrical system to support the power needs of the mechanics as well as nicer locker rooms and bathrooms.”

  The construction started with laying the foundation of the hangar in 2014. Now the frame of the finished product has begun to take shape on the flight line. The structural steel is completely in place for the new hangar and they are almost finished with the new taxi way. Soon the contractors are starting on the parking garage.

  “The contract was awarded in August 2014 and the hanger is scheduled to be completed in October of 2016,” said Robson. “We are currently more than 50 percent of the way through construction. People driving by will notice the frame of the building taking shape.”

  Fightertown is scheduled to have a total of four F-35B hangars on base. Two are being constructed on the east ramp and in the future, two more on the west ramp. Those projects are scheduled for 2017 and 2018.

  “All of our projects are coming along very well,” said Roberts. “Everything is on schedule for 2016.”

  The hangar is not the only new addition to the flight line. Contractors have been working on new work spaces for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31.  

  “We completed the ground support equipment shop for MALS-31,” said Roberts. “They moved into the new facility at the beginning of 2016.”

  The building features upgraded gear and additional storage space that the squadron can use for larger equipment. 

  “The new shop is working out very well,” said Lt. Col. Michael Margolis, the commanding officer of MALS-31. “The Marines have embraced their new workspace quickly and we are doing everything we can to ensure the transition is smooth.”  

  There are several other projects that will begin in 2016. Public works is planning to modify and replace a piece of the fueling station on the air station. That project is slated to start in the next few months.

  “We are also preparing for a large project where we are replacing areas of concrete on a runway,” said Roberts. “That one will have a relatively large impact because we will have to shut down parts of the flight line while we work.”

  All this construction has an effect on the air station. The public works office and the contracting companies have to coordinate with the Marines to assure operability it’s not hinder while the upgrades are completed.  

  “We have enclosed all of our sites with temporary fences to separate construction from the day-to-day functionality of the base,” said Roberts. “We have been working closely with base operations to ensure we have little to no impact on the flying squadrons.” 

  As MCAS Beaufort moves into 2016, Marines can expect numerous additions to the base that enhance our capabilities. New technology and infrastructure put the Marine Corps on the forefront of military preparedness.
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