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military construction effort to beddown incoming SOF forces. In addition to the military construction program, an aver- age of $50M per year was invested in operations and maintenance projects and $3-5M per year in housing and dor- mitory projects. When considering the massive scope of the changes from a fighter wing to a special operations wing, the physical properties of the installation itself required a radical change. Existing facilities could not support the backbone of the special operations fleet, the AC- and MC-130s. The aircraft could not fit in the existing hangars, which proved problematic for the SOMXG during periods of extreme cold and hot temper- atures with winds consistently above 25 mph. Eventually three C-130 airframe capable hangars were able to support the initial beddown, one requiring exten- sive modifications for full enclosure. The SOG also experienced shortages in squadron operations facilities. The majority of facilities were undersized and poorly located with relationship to aircraft parking plans. Additionally, the unique requirements of the new remote piloted aircraft (RPA) mission drove the need for enhanced security, communi- cations, and infrastructure upgrades to existing facilities. Additional review of the infrastruc-

ture identified shortfalls in almost all areas. Existing water lines were aged and degraded from the extremely hard water drawn for the Ogallala aquifer. Sewer systems have proven to be unreliable and collapsed in places, driving addi- tional funding requirements for nearly every repair, renovation, and new con- struction project. New technologies and information systems placed an extreme stress on aging heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems and electrical distribution systems. All of these areas require significant investment and com- pete for limited facility sustainment, restoration, and modernization funds. Power redundancy and physical secu- rity were initial concerns that had to be tackled quickly. In early 2010 a winter storm swept through the area causing the 1940s-era substation to fail when snow and ice infiltrated the structure forcing the base to use emergency generators for nearly 10 days. New substations

Ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly completed 33 SOS operations building.

were required along with the capability to establish looped and redundant power across the base. Eventually, these needs will be met with a planned “smart grid”. The base perimeter, originally three strands of barbed wire, was replaced with a chain-link and reinforced with anti-ram cabling and a $7M security sensor project was launched to detect, track and react to flightline incursions. Compounding the challenge was a

massive shortage in qualified person- nel. The 27th SOCES Programs Flight, charged with planning and program- ming all base construction, was manned at approximately 35% of authorized strength. Of that 35%, roughly 85% per- cent of the staff had less than two years of experience in Air Force engineering. The Contracting squadron was similarly undermanned with the majority oper- ating at the “Journeyman” skill level. These professionals did yeomen’s work in executing the initial program, with the added workload of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act requir- ing rapid project execution. As these experts continue to execute the plan, challenges remain with the local con- struction capacity. The communities of Clovis and Portales continue to grow alongside Cannon. Regional projects such as the “Tres Amigas” power grid, construction of wind farms, and the Portales cheese factory expansion con- tinue to draw on the same construction

firms that provide the skilled labor for Cannon’s $500M+ effort. A sec- ond order effect is the competition our Airmen face for affordable housing (especially rentals) with the growing regional construction workforce and the expanding student population at Eastern New Mexico University. In CY 2010 rental availability decreased to less than one percent and rental rates increased by twenty percent. Significant challenges exist for

housing Airmen and their families while establishing a viable community for incoming Air Commandos. The BRAC drawdown eliminated several dormito- ries that are now required as the base population grows past the original 4400 program of record enroute to over 6000 and demographics shift to a younger force. BRAC also ended a previous housing privatization effort and caused the rapid decay of existing homes thus leaving a significant amount of work to remake suitable homes for our families until we could restart and accomplish the privatization effort. Lack of suitable military family housing, an extremely small local rental market and high-priced homes in Clovis and Portales are extreme stressors to our Airmen. Through the efforts of the NM Congressional del- egation, SAF/IEI, AFSOC A7, and 27 SOW/CE, housing privatization is now on track for a formal closing in spring of 2012. Later this year we will open


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