CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – Roommates and shared bathrooms used to be the standard in military dormitories. Mission readiness and quality of life for airmen today means a private room and bath.
The Albuquerque District joined the Air Force’s 27th Special Operations Wing at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 6, 2013, for the newest dormitory built by the Corps there.
“This project is a true success,” John Moreno, the District’s chief of Engineering and Construction said. The $12.4 million project was completed six weeks ahead of schedule.
Moreno; Col. Tony Bauernfeind, 27th Special Operations Wing commander, U.S. Air Force; and Chief Master Sgt. Paul Henderson, 27th SOW command chief, watched as Airman Zachariah Mick, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, cut the ribbon.
The new dorm houses 96 airmen and is sectioned into quads. Each quad consists of four rooms surrounding a full kitchen and living area. A much-appreciated feature is the washer/dryer unit in each quad. The private baths also earned praise: one airman described it as “a real bathroom, not a prison bathroom” with no room to move.
“Our airmen are our priority,” said Henderson. Bauernfeind said that the new dorms aren’t solely about the airmen’s quality of life; they’re about the mission. Improving quality of life increases and enhances mission capability.
During the ceremony, Moreno presented the contractor, Charpie Korte, a safety award for “no recordable or lost time accidents” over the entire course of construction under their contract, in excess of 110,000 exposure hours without incident.
This dormitory is the first of three new dormitories to be completed by the Corps at Cannon. In March 2014, the District will complete an identical 96-person, $12.4 million dorm adjacent to the one just opened. Also, a Request for Proposals is being completed for a 144-person dormitory.
The dormitories aren’t the only projects the District is working on at the base. From fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2014, the District has close to $350 million in projects there, keeping the Cannon Resident Office hopping.
The projects include several hangars as well as support facilities such as the Consolidated Communications Facility; Wastewater Treatment Plant; an Apron and Taxiway; a Flight Simulator Facility and others.
Moreno dubbed the seven hangar projects “marquee projects” based on their cost and because of their criticalness for base operations.