JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center's Detachment 4 is leading $152 million in construction projects to upgrade infrastructure at Air Base Campia Turzii, Romania, in support of NATO operations.
The projects will help establish an enduring Air Force presence in Romania. Campia Turzii is a key strategic location that requires modern infrastructure to support air mobility missions, host Air Force assets and deployed personnel, and be able to quickly respond to any security issues in the region.
“Mission-ready infrastructure is essential to national defense and operational capabilities,” said Col. Dave Norton deputy director of AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. “The technical expertise of the professionals from AFCEC and AFIMSC’s Det. 4 is critical to delivering agile and resilient facilities to ensure our deployed troops are able to successfully accomplish their mission.”
The undertaking is a partnership among AFCEC, Det. 4, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Romania’s Ministry of Defence.
Det. 4 is the design and construction manager while AFCEC monitors construction execution to ensure the efforts stay on time and within budget.
The construction, supporting the European Deterrence Initiative implemented by U.S. European Command, is expected to enhance security across Europe and increase the responsiveness and readiness of U.S. air forces and NATO member state forces in the region.
“The EDI program includes construction of airfield infrastructure and supporting facilities necessary to sustain the Air Force’s combat operations and surveillance missions while also increasing logistics capabilities in the theater,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Scott Raymond, chief engineer in U.S. European Command's Logistics Directorate.
The program in Romania includes 15 infrastructure projects in different construction phases.
Big changes are on the horizon at Campia Turzii as the Air Force is planning to award a $130 million undertaking this year to optimize the mission out of Romania’s air base.
“We’re getting ready to award four projects for construction between May and August 2021,” said Darren Walls, EDI design and construction program manager for Det. 4. “The investment in Romania demonstrates the Air Force’s strong commitment to partnering with NATO allies to achieve a common goal."
Det.4 is the liaison between the host nation, the Air Force enterprise and USACE and will work closely with partners to execute the projects and deliver a resilient infrastructure solution.
The Air Force will invest almost $30 million in construction of a dangerous cargo pad to support C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster aircraft, a new parking apron to accommodate fighter aircraft, and U.S. and NATO strategic transport aircraft.
“The semicircular concrete cargo pad will be able to support a 30,000-pound net explosive weight and will consist of supporting infrastructure such as taxiway access to the pad, a marshalling yard and an access road to a munitions storage,” Walls said.
Two other initiatives will deliver a new fuel storage facility and a new storage complex to accommodate the U.S. Air Force’s new deployable air base system. The $32 million fuel storage facility will enhance USAFE theater security deployment and exercise execution with NATO partners, while the new $68 million DABS facility will be utilized to store a large kit filled with everything needed to stand up air operations including facilities, equipment and vehicles. In addition, two more projects are in the planning phase and they include a temporary aircraft hangar and upgrades to the cargo field.
The enhancements will bolster USAFE’s ability to increase responsiveness and readiness as well as improve training capabilities with NATO partners.
Ongoing, soon-to-be-completed construction
So far, the Air Force has awarded $14.3 million in contracts to modernize infrastructure at Campia Turzii.
A $5.5 million effort that includes an upgraded fuel system with extended storage capacity, improved airfield lighting, new electrical systems and an improved trim pad that meets NATO requirements was completed in the last few months.
“A reliable trim pad was one of the essential investments. The Air Force straps down aircraft to a trim pad to keep then safely in place during maintenance services,” Walls said.
A few more projects are scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.
First, the installation will receive a $1.7 million munitions facility with increased storage capacity, a necessary air mobility requirement for assigned missions. The munitions storage area will consist of two 1,500-square-foot earth-covered magazines referred to as ’igloos,’ as well as create an access road to link these two facilities.
Second is a $2 million squadron operation facility required for effective command and control. The new building will have administrative rooms and areas for crew support and flight operations.
Third is a new parking apron and a one-bay hangar. The $4.9 million construction will expand the current parking apron to allow safe movement of aircraft while the Air Force will utilize the 14,000-square-foot hangar for aircraft maintenance and housing.
Upon completion, the modernized base will serve as a rotational hub where deployed Airmen and air platforms will be able move in and out, as necessary.