OTIS AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. -- Continued from "A Changing Landscape", by Master Sgt. Aaron Smith, Aug. 2011 Seagull
For the occasional dependent, retiree, or drill status guardsman, one might notice some landscaping changes when visiting the base's headquarters, building 158, this month. On February 5, the fire suppression deluge tank was removed as part of the base's 5-year plan to upgrade facilities and demolish old and un-used buildings that no longer support the mission here.
Construction and demolition have been occurring all over the base during the last two years and progress has continued this winter despite record low temperatures and bitter winds.
The next major demolition project was the removal of building 128, which was a former aircraft hangar that the Army National Guard was previously using as storage. The removal of the building started in February and the buildings final wall was torn down on March 29. (See a time-lapse video here!
"The primary reason we are shrinking our facility footprint is because the facilities are no longer required for our current missions. It's in the best interests of the Commonwealth and nation to eliminate the reoccurring maintenance costs for these facilities which in turn frees up funding for other projects around the base and the ANG as a whole," said Col. Patrick Cobb, 102nd Intelligence Wing commander. "Our goal is to have a smaller campus that is efficient and modern so the changes going on right now are a continuation of the plan that was started a couple of years ago."
In fact, since January of 2011 more than twenty structures have been removed from the area, according to Mr. Robert Blair of the 102nd Civil Engineering Squadron. Along with these projects comes a change in the general layout of Otis ANGB.
What is next on the base modernization plan?
If you enjoy running the mile-and-a-half loop on Reilly Street, you might be familiar with building 201, which was formerly occupied by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and is also scheduled for demolition this year.
As of April 1, construction has resumed on the Operations & Training (O&T) building and is scheduled to be completed by December of 2013. The new Distributed Ground Station (DGS) building is just about complete and its personnel can expect to occupy the building in the next couple of months.
In the end, the goal is to fully transform Otis ANGB into an efficient and modernized base.