As published in Toledo Business Journal - February 1, 2019

180FW puts $15M in new aircraft shelter

The Ohio Air National Guard is planning to construct a $15 million, 29,250 square foot four bay aircraft shelter to house the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA) aircrafts that are on standby for airspace security response on its 180th Fighter Wing (180FW) base at Toledo Express Airport. According to Major Jeremy Ferguson, deputy base civil engineer, this project will replace the current temporary tent-style alert shelters and provide a permanent shelter with better climate conditions and fire protection capabilities.

“The ACA mission is a critical part of national security and the temporary shelters that we currently have are reaching the end of their serviceable life and in need of being replaced. The infrastructure investment to provide permanent shelters with better heating for cold weather conditions as well as increased fire protection for the aircraft will enhance the mission capabilities of the aircraft, pilots, and maintainers,” said Maj Ferguson.

The architect for the shelters is Burns & McDonnell Architects and Engineers based out of Kansas City, Missouri. The general contractor for this project has not been announced at this time, though the bid solicitation has closed and the contractor bids are currently being evaluated, noted Maj Ferguson.

The anticipated start for the construction of this contract is projected in early March, with a construction period lasting 15 months from the time of construction start. Project completion is expected to be around June 2020.

“This facility will have a radiant heat system that will provide better temperature control than is currently possible with the temporary shelters and will also have high expansion foam fire suppression for the aircrafts. The temporary shelters do not have a fire suppression system and the new aircraft shelter has also been designed to accommodate all fighter aircraft in the current Air Force inventory,” said Maj Ferguson.

Rendering of the 180th Fighter Wing’s planned aircraft shelter

Rendering of the 180th Fighter Wing’s planned aircraft shelter

According to Maj Ferguson, the project will result in new jobs during the construction of the project, but it does not currently have any planned long-term job creation. The current daily mission accounts for eight aircraft maintenance technicians and four pilots.

“This facility will provide a permanent location to support the ACA mission and will provide a better working environment for the pilots and aircraft maintainers,” added Maj Ferguson.

The project is being funded through an appropriation through Congress using military construction funds and follows an announcement of the 180FW’s plans to construct a $3.45 million, 10,900 square foot deployment processing and fitness center on the base.

The 180FW should be finished with the design of that project by April 2019, giving it a construction start date around May 2019 with a six to nine month window for construction.

That project is being funded by two different funding streams, Maj Ferguson previously noted. One part of it – a third of the funding – is being funded by the federal government and the Air National Guard. The other part of it is a grant 180FW received from the State of Ohio and the Ohio Military Facilities Commission (OMFC) that will pay for the remaining two-thirds of design and construction.

According to the 2017 180th Fighter Wing Annual Report, during fiscal year 2017, the 180FW contributed more than $123 million in both direct and indirect economic support to the overall economy, of which over $105 million directly impacted the local region. The largest portion of this was nearly $60 million in payroll expenses for all civilian and military personnel. The remaining balance was spent on new construction projects, supplies, maintenance and repair of existing facilities, support contracts, and general base operations.


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