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Congressman Costello cuts ribbon on new $7.4 million facility
U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello prepares to cut the ribbon Feb. 6, 2012 to a new $7.4 million, 21,500 sq. ft. aeromedical evacuation facility at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., that he was instrumental in funding. He is flanked by Col. Michael Hornitschek, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander; Randy Pollard, representing Illinois Senator Mark Kirk’s office; Lt. Col. John Shuliger, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron commander; and Col. Ed Farley, 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron commander. The building will house 163 active-duty, Guard and Reserve personnel whose mission is to bring home the wounded from the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force photo/Karen Petitt)
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Scott opens new $7.4M aeromedical evacuation building

Posted 2/6/2012   Updated 2/7/2012 Email story   Print story


by By Airman 1st Class Jake Eckhardt
375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

2/6/2012 - SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Scott AFB opened a new $7.4 million, 21,500 sq. ft. facility that will house 163 active duty, Guard and Reserve personnel who bring home the wounded from America's battlefields.

The new building is home to the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and replaces a 70-year-old, condemned building famous for its mold and basement swimming pool after a hard rain.

During a ribbon cutting ceremony Feb. 6, U.S. Rep. Jerry Costello, who was instrumental in securing funding for the building, quipped that "it didn't take a brain surgeon to walk through the other building and say 'Oh my God, what are they doing in this building!'"

He said he and his delegation team focused on earmarking the funds in the Military Construction, or MILCON, appropriations bill "to improve the quality of life here at Team Scott ... so that you can continue do a fabulous job for the men and women who serve our country so well."

The building represents where the Air Force is headed with new construction, meaning that it's designed under a LEED certification process, which stands for Leadership, Energy and Environmental Design. This provides a framework for designers to work toward sustainable buildings that use less energy and are eco-friendly. The Air Force designs toward a "silver" certification--one of four ratings--but with this building it's hoping to score a "gold" certification.

To do that, Lt. Col. John Shuliger, 375th Civil Engineer Squadron, and his team of designers, included 42 geothermal wells located 300 feet below the surface, which helps with the heating and cooling systems, and a solar powered water heater on the roof to help relieve pressure from the electric and gas systems. In addition, "there'll be water efficient landscaping with the sod and bushes so there's no need for irrigation [sprinkling system]," he said.

"That's a huge savings for us with water use, and that--along with an eco-friendly plumbing system, contributes to an overall 20 percent reduction in water usage. We also have energy efficient light fixtures, and 29 air handling systems that control the atmosphere in each room ... just to name a few of the many outstanding design features of this building."

Col. Michael Hornitschek, 375th Air Mobility Wing commander, said he was extremely proud of his team for designing, funding and overseeing many details of this showcase facility. The many people who worked on the project include the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation, Civil Engineer, Contracting and Comptroller Squadrons, as well as the architectural firm Korte Design, general contractor Charpie-Korte/Joint Venture and government oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville Division.

For members of the squadron, such as Lt. Col. James Speight, 375th AES chief nurse, the best part of the facility is having dedicated training rooms where the nurses and med techs have the room to exercise emergency medical scenarios on advanced technology mannequins, call Mediman. These rooms will provide training to more than 150 aircrew personnel annually.

"This new facility will allow us to train our staff better and in a synergistic manner," said Speight

For Capt. Jennifer Idell, 375th AES operations officer, the new building is a welcomed relief from the old building, which was originally intended to be temporary barracks. It lacked storage for the $5 million in medical equipment the AE missions required. The condemned building inadequately supported training and required 40 space heaters and 35 window air conditioners due to malfunctioning heating, cooling and roofing.

"The HVAC repair shop was on a first name basis with us," she said. "This new facility is definitely going to raise morale. It will also make us more efficient and ensure that we can quickly get our training done, missions briefed and get our equipment out to our aircraft."

The old building, Bldg. 505, is scheduled for demolition in March and the wing commander has invited all members who belong--or who have ever belonged--to the AE unit and who had to work in that facility to participate in the demolition.

2/7/2012 2:51:47 PM ET
Congratulations on your new facility.
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