The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Progress 2013

March 9, 2013

Vance's towering project

New air traffic control facility set to open at one of the Air Force’s busiest airfields


VANCE AIR FORCE BASE — Little more room to grow

Vance has the fifth busiest air traffic control location in the Air Force, said Lt. Col. Donald Callaghan, commander of 71st Operations Support Squadron.

The new tower not only will help train student pilots at Vance but air traffic controllers as well. Vance trains a number of controllers in both the tower and radar approach control every year. Currently there are 21 3-level air traffic control trainees at Vance, with 10 more expected in the next three months, Callaghan said.

“The new tower will add to our existing training capacity, since there will be more room for controllers and trainees without overcrowding,” Callaghan said. “Since the new tower has significantly more area, it provides for the inclusion of a room dedicated to the tower simulator and separate training and break rooms, drastically cutting down on crowding and distractions.

“This added capacity will also allow for more dual-qualified controllers (those certified in both the Radar Approach Control and tower). The new tower also will incorporate new equipment for airfield lighting and new digital voice recording capacity.”

The new tower will contain a simulator room, training classroom and offices. In addition, the simulator room will serve as a tornado shelter.

This will be Vance’s third control tower since the base was built in 1941, Hazlett said.

Ongoing projects

The tower is the only new construction presently ongoing on base. An ongoing project involves renovation of the base’s enlisted dormitories. That is a $6.5 million project to replace the heating and air conditioning systems in the 1950s-era dorms, as well as modernizing the kitchens. One goal is to make the dorms more energy efficient and eliminate a possible mold issue due to moisture on the old heating and cooling lines.

“They’re doing the second of two buildings,” said Lt. Col. Richard Ward, deputy commander of 71st Mission Support Group. “We’re on schedule with the second building.”

“We’re not going through and redecorating or redoing any of the layout,” said Hazlett, “we’re primarily doing heating and air conditioning to control moisture. We had some minor mold issues, nothing that was a health risk, but we didn’t want it to get there. Plus the kitchens were kind of dated.”

There is one kitchen on each floor of the buildings, one of which has a capacity of 52, the other of 53.

A $30 million project for outside runway repair has been pushed back to fiscal year 2015 by Air Education and Training Command.

“There’s no new construction right now because we’re in a continuing resolution,” said Ward.

Department of Defense and Congress have declared a moratorium in funding military construction (milcon) projects in FY 2013.

The courtyard area in the base’s temporary lodging facility is being revamped with construction dollars from FY 2012. New lighting will be added and sidewalks will be redone.

“We want to make it so people want to be outside and enjoy that area,” Hazlett said.

Dyer’s other project is installation of high expansion fire suppression foam systems for two of Vance’s hangars, 141 and 129. In case of fire, those systems can quickly fill the hangar with foam to douse the flames. That likewise is being paid for with FY 2012 funds. That project is in the design phase.

“That’s so we have more capability to do more maintenance,” he said.

The base’s No. 1 future military construction project is a proposed $17.9 million effort to expand and consolidate existing flying squadron facilities.

The goal is “to bring them up to size standards,” said Hazlett, “because right now they are all undersized and significantly cramped.”

Besides, there are issues with heating and air conditioning.

“Their heating and air conditioning systems, especially in the two main flying squadron buildings, are very old and antiquated,” he said. “They can’t keep up with the heat that we have in the summer.”

Text Only
Progress 2013
  • Progress cover page.jpg 2013 OUR HERITAGE, OUR FUTURE

    The News & Eagle puts out an annual Progress edition. This year's 2013 Our Heritage, Our Future focuses the Enid area's rich heritage and its current and future endeavors.

    Read individual stories on the site HERE

    Links to Full Edition pdf format: Economic Development | Health & Wellness | Education | Northwest Oklahoma | Faith | Family | Agriculture & Energy | Community Service

    Our Progress edition also is available as part of our digital newspaper. Learn more about the ENE e-edition HERE.

    February 16, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Bob Farrell_1_BV.jpg A time to give

    Bob Farrell volunteers for a number of organizations throughout Enid, a labor of love that began during his 25-year active duty Air Force career, at which time he rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • experiment.jpg Growth spurt

    The market normally opens the second Saturday of May, the week after Tri-State Music Festival. June 22 is the annual GreEnid promotion. Hours are 8-11 a.m. each Saturday during the season.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link

  • Nonprofits Seminar_2_BV.jpg A way to fund progress

    Cherokee Strip Community Foundation was started in 1999 and began receiving funds in 2000. The initial funds were raised because of a challenge match from Sisters of Mercy, former owners of St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, which started the match program as a way to help the community.

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Foster_Grandparent_BH.jpg 'I love you Grandma warms my heart'

    “I can tell Grandma one time, and she knows what the children need, grabs her stuff and goes and does it. It’s like having another teacher.” — Hoover Elementary teacher Nicole Moneypenny

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • AmTryke_3_BV.jpg AMBUCS pride

    “Enid is known as the AMBUCS capital of the world because there’s more AMBUCS in Enid per capita than any other city in the country." — Kent Clingenpeel, National AMBUCS president and Enid AM AMBUCS member

    April 13, 2013 2 Photos 1 Link

  • Volunteers_Alisha Jones_4.jpg 'A beautiful thing'

    “When we talk about developing professional airmen, our community involvement is a big part of it.” — Col. Darren James, commander of 71st Flying Training Wing

    April 13, 2013 4 Photos 1 Link

  • Stepping_Stones_1_BH.jpg Helping people overcome

    Stepping Stones and Van’s House are housed at the same facility and are there to provide help for those who are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • Park Avenue Thrift_1_BV.jpg People making a difference

    From vocational rehabilitation and homeless shelter services to community arts programs, a significant portion of Enid’s non-profit causes benefit directly when people shop at or donate to local thrift stores.

    April 13, 2013 1 Photo 1 Link

  • JWL_1_BV.jpg Care to share

    Junior Welfare League bought adjoining buildings downtown and has been operating Return Engagement from one of the buildings but hopes to expand the store throughout both buildings.

    April 13, 2013 3 Photos 1 Link