News>Infrastructure upgrades enhance joint base missions
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Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Air Force and New Jersey leaders officially opened the joint base's newest Command Post and Base Operations joint facility as well as a new dormitory with two ribbon-cutting ceremonies Feb. 24, 2014, here. The JB MDL Command Post and several 305th OSS flights, including Weather, Intelligence and Airfield Management, will now be able to better provide mission support to the joint base and flying missions respectively with the facility upgrade. The JB MDL Command Post provides an integral piece to joint basing for regular base activities and facilitates communication between mission partners. The mission is to alert, direct and report through the use of superior proactive and reactive command and control in support of the installation commander and mission partners.
Second from left, Col. Richard Williamson, 305th Air Mobility Wing commander; Col. James Hodges, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst and 87th Air Base Wing commander; Airman 1st Class Damien Cook, 305th Aerial Port Squadron member, and Kathleen Ferguson, performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, cut a ceremonial ribbon to signify the opening of a new dormitory Feb. 24, 2014, at JB MDL, N.J. The new dormitory replaced two demolished dormitories at JB MDL and improved the quality of life for its tenant service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sean M. Crowe/Released)
Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Bixel, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Command Post controller, speaks to distinguished visitors and JB MDL leaders during a tour of the JB MDL Command Post and 305th Operations Support Squadron new joint facility Feb. 24, 2014, at JB MDL, N.J. The new facility attributes to increased mission effectiveness for the JB MDL Command Post by increasing its command and control capabilities through upgrades in technology and a larger facility to operate in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sean M. Crowe/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Sean M. Crowe
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
2/26/2014 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, Air Force and New Jersey leaders officially opened the joint base's newest Command Post and Base Operations joint facility as well as a new dormitory with two ribbon-cutting ceremonies Feb. 24, 2014, here.
The JB MDL Command Post and several 305th OSS flights, including Weather, Intelligence and Airfield Management, will now be able to better provide mission support to the joint base and flying missions respectively with the facility upgrade.
The JB MDL Command Post provides an integral piece to joint basing for regular base activities and facilitates communication between mission partners. The mission is to alert, direct and report through the use of superior proactive and reactive command and control in support of the installation commander and mission partners.
The new facility will allow them to transition from supporting the former McGuire Air Force Base to supporting a joint base comprised of more than 80 mission partners and 40 mission commanders providing a wide range of combat capability to airmen, soldiers, sailors, coast guardsmen, civilians, and their family members.
Some of the services they provide are emergency notifications via AtHoc mass notification system, coordinating inbound and outbound aircraft support and arranging maintenance for aircraft as needed with the Maintenance Operations Center and the Air Terminal Operations Center to track the 305th Air Mobility Wing mission.
The following upgrades have been made available to the JB MDL Command Post: two additional controller consoles, video teleconference capabilities, touch screen radios, an optimized layout and a drastic increase in building size and quality. The extra space available allows them more room to operate and train without cramming shoulder to shoulder, as they did in their old building.
"One of the biggest benefits of the new facility will be increased space for mission partners to participate in mission planning and emergency response," said Major Josh Kenyon, JB MDL Command Post chief. "It will ultimately give all our mission partners a one-stop shop to provide them materials they need to complete whatever mission they have."
The construction project, which began June 30, 2011, and concluded Aug. 7, 2013, was funded with a contract totaling $6.8 million to create a 23,680-square-foot building to replace the previous one occupied by Command Post and base operations.
"As a controller, I think the greatest benefit of the new facility is the optimal layout for communication among us," said Tech. Sgt. Brandon Silberman, JB MDL Command Post operations NCO in charge. "Interpersonal communication is a rare commodity for us and I think it will benefit us greatly in cutting down on communication time to allow us quicker responses."
The 305th OSS also has several flights within the building including Weather, Airfield Management and Intelligence flights which will also benefit from the increase in office space, modern command-post-style radios and a console upgrade for Airfield Management. The 305th OSS is crucial to keeping the airfield operational and allowing aircrews to guarantee continuity of the flying mission.
Both organizations support mission partners by providing weather briefs for flying or other operations, emergency alert and intelligence packages. The larger facility will better allow them to host aircrews for mission planning and increase effectiveness in developing the resources they provide those aircrews.
The other aspect of infrastructure upgrades, the new dormitory, greatly increases the quality of life for junior service members.
The new dormitory, which replaces two old dormitories, was completed Nov. 20, 2013, after two years and the project warranted a $13.9 million contract. A new dormitory was a more viable option to upgrade service members' quality of life than renovating more than 60-years-old dormitories which were demolished.
The new dorms provide housing to unaccompanied enlisted personnel while giving them an opportunity to build camaraderie with other service members in their own units as well as others.
The new dorms are the first on JB MDL to embody individual rooms with a common area. The new dormitory consists of apartment style living where four Airmen share a common kitchen and living area along with a private room and bathroom.
Junior service members began moving into the new dormitory Feb. 7, 2013. The new facility will ultimately house 120 junior service members.
Distinguished visitors Kathleen Ferguson, acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force- Installations, Environment and Logistics; Rep. John Runyan, 3rd District New Jersey congressman; Rep. Christopher Smith, 4th District New Jersey congressman, and JB MDL leaders attended. The ceremonies mark the continuous expansion of JB MDL infrastructure to sustain the joint base's mission.
Both projects are sustaining current missions, command and control as well as improving upon quality of life. Investments like these promise the joint base will continue its mission into the future.