New Vehicle Maintenance Building Construction Underway at the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jeremy Tevis
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
Construction of the new Vehicle Maintenance building at the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge, Iowa is currently underway. The construction of the new Vehicle Maintenance building is the first phase in a larger remodel project for the 133rd.

Soon after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the members of the 133rd rushed to develop a way to view and control the airspace within the U.S. Members of the 133rd assisted in the development of a way to tie all of the radars in the United States together to be able to see what was happening in our airspace. This development lead to a nation-wide adoption of this technique and set the 133rd on course as leaders in the testing of C2 (Command and Control) equipment. The 133rd Test Squadron has the unique pride in being the only Air Guard unit with the mission to test C2 equipment before it hits the field, and in fact the only test execution unit in the whole Air Force.

With the conversion to the test mission in 2002, money was allotted for new construction and for remodeling. One of the biggest needs for the 133rd was a new home to house their Vehicle Maintenance section. According to Senior Master Sgt. Don Miller, the Maintenance Superintendent for the Vehicle Maintenance section at the 133rd "the new VM shop will enhance our capabilities ". Some of these updates include two drive-through bays with overhead cranes, the ability to work on semis, and the possibility to hold six vehicles as compared to the old VM shop that can only hold two vehicles at a time. The old Vehicle Maintenance shop however will not go unused. In fact plans are in place to renovate part of the old VM shop into a fitness center.

In addition to the construction of the new Vehicle Maintenance facility, a substantial amount of remodeling efforts will soon begin in the main headquarters building. Some renovations that are planned for this next year include a remodel of the bathrooms, kitchen and the dining hall. The size of the dining hall will be reduced in size to make room for additional offices, and the Computer Maintenance section which is currently located outside of the main building in a trailer will be relocated inside of the main building with the other sections.

With the help of Congressman Tom Latham the construction at the 133rd Test Squadron in Fort Dodge has become the number one MILCON (Military Construction) project for the year. Also included in the new construction efforts are the creation of an additional parking lot to ease parking issues, installation of a Geo-Thermal system to replace the old and outdated boiler system, and an updated programmable unit sign near the front gate. Construction began in June 2009 and is currently scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2011.

An open house will be held on February 6, 2010 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for spouses, family members, and retirees to tour the current facility before the majority of the construction and remodeling projects are underway. The same group will be invited back the following year to see the final result of the completed projects. To assist in the planning of this event, the 133rd TS requests that family members and retirees RSVP to (515) 574-3276 with the number of adults and children attending along with number of unit cooked meals needed. Meals will cost $4.25 each.

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