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Posted 7/7/2015

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By Elizabeth Lockyear
Albuquerque District Public Affairs

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. – The District participated in a double ceremony celebrating two milestones in the expansion of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center, June 29, 2015.

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich joined several officials from the base and the District to ceremonially break ground on Phase 2 as construction had already commenced. The ribbon-cutting ceremony officially opening Phase 1 followed.

Phase 1 is a $21 million, 57,000 square foot facility connected to the existing Nuclear Weapons Center via a secure enclosed walk-way. It was awarded June 12, 2012. Phase 2 is a $21 million, 74,000-square-foot facility that will be completed by early 2017.

“This hasn’t been a typical project and there have been many challenges. Changes in mission necessitated many changes in the scope of work. There were also extensive security and audio-visual mission requirements,” said District Commander Lt. Col. Patrick Dagon. “I’m proud of the team here today. They’ve risen to the occasion, meeting the challenges head-on.”

Dagon cited the District’s Kirtland Resident Engineer Joan Coffing; Phase 1 Project Manager Amanda Tapia-Pitman; Phase II Project Manager, Filemon Gallegos; Project Engineer and Contracting Officer’s Representative John Wilson; and Quality Assurance Representatives Eric Procter, Denise Saiz, Luis Pulido and Amy Sanchez for their hard work and effort on the project.

Dagon also thanked the contractor for both phases, K.L. House. “I’ve heard from my people that K.L. House ‘really was a team player!’ Teamwork has been critical throughout, and will continue to be critical as we continue construction of Phase 2.”

The expansion enables the consolidation of personnel into one location, increasing efficiency.
Once complete, the expanded headquarters building will bring all of the center's Kirtland personnel under one roof, Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center Commander Maj. Gen. Sandra Finan said. They are currently working at buildings across the base.

AFNWC Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center groundbreaking ceremony K.L. House KAFB Kirtland Air Force Base Lt. Col. Patrick Dagon Maj. Gen. Sandra Finan military construction ribbon-cutting ceremony Sen. Martin Heinrich