140th Wing opens new operations facility
By Capt. Kristin Haley, 140th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published March 07, 2010
Buckley Air Force Base, Colo -- The 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard formally opened its new Operations Building with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday, 6 March.
The project was a military construction add from the Colorado Delegation in 2009. The new $7.3 million dollar facility took more than a year to complete and employed more than 300 people and utilized more than 40 sub-contractors.
The current operations facility was originally designed for the A-7 aircraft. Since converting to the F-16 in 1991, the mission of the 120th Fighter Squadron has grown significantly to include not only the traditional air-to-ground mission, but also an air-to air-mission as well as our Nation's air defense mission.
Since Sept 11, 2001, Colorado Air National Guardsmen have been in a 24-hr a day, 7-day a week alert posture to deter and respond to attacks similar to the events in New York City and at the Pentagon.
With the change in mission aircraft and the added responsibility for protection of the mid-west, the 120th Fighter Squadron has witnessed upgrades and additions to digital avionics, command and control upgrades, and a host of others systems. Historically, these systems have been funded by upgrades to the aircraft, however the funding for upgrades to the facility have not kept pace. As a result, the current facility was undersized and unable to adequately support the new missions.
The 120th Fighter Squadron operates at the highest levels of military and domestic policy. Militarily, the 120th Fighter squadron has deployed five times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, most recently to Balad Air Base, Iraq last summer. The 120th Fighter Squadron has also deployed to support an Air Expeditionary Force deployment in the Pacific as well as supported multiple National Special Security Events, such as the Democratic National Convention last year.
"We are very excited about this new facility," said Colonel Mike Loh, 140th Operations Group Commander. "This is a very important project to the mission out here at Buckley and will help us to continue to support the state and nation as we has for the past 150 years. The facility will be used for current and future operations, mission planning and training," he added.
"The base currently houses 18 F-16C Fighting Falcons and the technological advancements over the years have led to newer and more complex equipment, which has led to a challenging situation in our current facility," said Loh.