On March 26, 2013, Lt. Col. Gant, commander, Albuquerque District, participated in both a groundbreaking and a ribbon-cutting ceremony held for two cutting edge laboratories dedicated to space sensor research and development and space radiation effects for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) on Kirtland Air Force Base.
The District’s Kirtland Resident Office and GranCor Construction, Inc., partnered in the design and construction of these new laboratory facilities. Filemon Gallegos, District project manager, led the effort to insure that the customer’s requirements were included in both of these projects.
The ground breaking ceremony celebrated the beginning of construction of the Infrared Radiation Effects Laboratory. The ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrated the completion of the Space Sensors Laboratory.
Located adjacent to each other on Kirtland Air Force Base, both buildings are part of the Laboratory Revitalization effort constructed for AFRL. These new facilities are replacing older buildings which, because of their age, were developing cracks in the walls and leaks around the windows. The heating, cooling, and ventilation systems were also inefficient.
The Laboratory Revitalization authority that was added in the FY12 National Defense Authorization Act allowed AFRL to build projects up to $2 million – a hefty increase from the previous $750,000 limit.
“The Act and the revitalization authority has been game-changing for the Air Force Research Lab and specifically the Space Vehicles Directorate here at Kirtland,” said Michael D. Gallegos, chief, Infrastructure Management Branch, Air Force Research Laboratory. “It has created two cutting-edge laboratories that will allow scientists and engineers to perform better research and improve the scientific process while aiding in recruitment and retention of quality people. The labs and the improved capabilities will fundamentally improve space sensor technologies and systems.”
"It has been a pleasure working with the AFRL team to successfully design and construct these two state-of-the-art laboratories,” said Gallegos. “These laboratories will serve a vital role for them to successfully accomplish its mission.”