AFCEC construction enhances JBSA capabilities, quality of life 

  • Published
  • By Mila Cisneros
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center is optimizing mission and training capabilities and improving quality of life at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, through its multi-year construction effort. 

The current projects are a massive $388 million undertaking at three primary locations -- JBSA-Lackland, JBSA-Fort Sam Houston and JBSA-Randolph. It includes seven active $310 million new military construction projects and five $78 million renovation projects currently in design to improve the resiliency and readiness of the force.  

“AFCEC, a primary subordinate unit of the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, provides centralized design and construction solutions for the Air Force and Space Force enterprise and ensures installations have what they need to operate,” said Col. Dave Norton, deputy director of AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate.
“Resilient infrastructure is critical to our ability to conduct the missions our nation asks of us,” said Norton, “with AFCEC-led investment providing the right-sized infrastructure necessary to effectively meet mission objectives.”

AFCEC’s mission is to provide centralized design and infrastructure solutions essential to full operational capability at installations. The AFCEC-managed projects are part of the military construction and facility sustainment, restoration and modernization programs, an effort jointly executed with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. 

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland
At Lackland, construction of the Basic Military Training West Campus is underway. The effort began in 2019 and involves a new classroom and dining facility, and two recruit dormitories. The west campus will strengthen the Air Force’s capacity to conduct training missions more efficiently at the Air Force’s primary basic training location for enlisted recruits known as the “Gateway to the Air Force.” 

“It is a multifaceted construction designed to update and replace decentralized housing and training infrastructure with modern living and educational facilities,” said Shannon Best, AFCEC’s design and construction manager. 

Each of the two, 280,550 square-foot dormitories will accommodate up to 1,248 trainees once complete. The $226 million investment will offer sleeping quarters, showers and restrooms along with an instructional dayroom and instructor offices. The three BMT projects are slated for completion by late 2022.

A new telephone maintenance facility is another $3 million MILCON investment at the installation. The 7,868 square-foot building will offer more efficiency for the 502nd Communications Squadron. 

“The squadron’s maintenance shops are displaced at the base due to the construction of the BMT West Campus Complex. The new one-story building will provide centralized space for storing and testing communications equipment,” Best said, and will include storage and administrative space as well as supporting infrastructure.

The 502nd CS keeps JBSA connected. It is the largest communications squadron in the Air Force handling various communication problems such as network concerns, phone issues and communications systems challenges.

Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston 
At Fort Sam Houston, construction of a new 13,500 square-foot fire station is nearly complete. Phase one began in 2015 followed by phase two in 2019. Upon completion, the new station will significantly improve the firefighting mission at the base.  

“The base needed new infrastructure to be ready to assist and serve 30 facilities at the Brooke Army Medical Center Complex,” Best said. 

The 11-story Brooke Army Medical Center, home to the Center for the Intrepid and Warriors in Transition, is the U.S. Army’s primary medical institution taking care of wounded service members. 

The $11.5 million investment is expected to considerably reduce response time to emergency calls. The new station will provide living quarters, administrative and training areas, and room for two fire trucks. 

Other Fort Sam Houston projects include a new entry control point facility and a military working dog kennel complex. 

The $3.8 million Winans Road entry control point will increase installation security and ensure a safer working environment for the security forces personnel. 

The construction of a $5.6 million MWD complex will enhance the base security and explosives and narcotics detection missions. The complex will provide kennel and support facilities, an obedience area, break room and other supporting infrastructure.

In addition to new construction efforts, more than 10 renovation and repair projects are currently or will soon be underway at the installation to include four barracks, Headquarters Army North administration areas and the Army Band building. 

Joint Base San Antonio Infrastructure
In addition to MILCON, the Air Force is modernizing JBSA’s existing infrastructure to assure lethality, readiness and Airmen resilience. 

“The FSRM program aims to repair and renovate facilities so they meet full mission capabilities and provide safe and comfortable living and work environments,” said JD Buchholtz, AFCEC project manager. 

The initiative will keep the base ready to fight and improve quality of life for Airmen. The scope of work includes complete renovation and repairs of administrative, data center buildings and recruit housing. 

“All FSRM projects are in the design and planning stage at the moment,” Buchholtz said. “We’re working with partners to deliver modern design solutions in order for each facility to meet the unique need necessary for mission success.”  

The $78 million FSRM initiative, a partnership between AFCEC and JBSA, includes work scheduled for Lackland and Randolph. Renovation of the buildings is expected to start in the next few years. 

The Air Force’s BMT program plans to add two new dormitories, an additional classroom and dining facility, and the Airmen’s Chapel by 2025.  

“These projects, part of the MILCON program, are in the design phase and we are working on awarding some of them for execution in 2021,” Best said. 

Other key projects will include a child development center at each primary location across JBSA, an air traffic control tower and aquatics tank facilities at Lackland. The Air Force is also planning to add aircraft maintenance and training facilities to house the T-7A Red Hawk Aircraft, as part of the T-X program at Randolph.