HomeNewsArticle Display

C-17s get state-of-the-art home at March Field

MARCH AIR RESERVE BASE, Calif. -- When the 452nd Air Mobility Wing welcomes eight C-17 Globemasters later this year, the aircraft will be maintained in an environmentally friendly hangar that is larger than a football field and incorporates advanced construction technology.

“We wanted it to appear it belonged here – have it blend in with its environment, as well as meet the standards of the 21st century by utilizing the technology available,” said Tom Kempton, project manager for contractor Torres-Bryan’s design and build team.

From planning to completion, the structure was designed to serve as a template for future C-17 hangars in the Air Force, Mr. Kempton said.

The project began in January 2004 when a smaller hangar was torn down to make room for the new 50,000-square-foot building. Materials from it were sent to recycling facilities, which set the theme for construction of the new hangar.

“This is a ‘green’ building,” said Mr. Kempton. “Many of the materials used in this building are recycled, including foundation materials, side paneling and the tiles on the bathroom floor.”

Also, light-reflective materials were used inside the hangar so that minimal artificial lighting is necessary.

The hangar’s new technology starts at ground level. The floor, also light-reflective, was constructed with a new substance called Dry Shake. Using a specific process, which is overseen by representatives from the product’s manufacturer, Dry Shake is placed into the concrete to create an extremely hard and durable surface that never has to be painted and repels fluids like fuel and oil. The floor can simply be cleaned and waste products washed into the water treatment system, which recycles and treats water before dumping it into the base sewer system. This system uses the newest technology and is extremely environmental friendly, said Mr. Kempton.

Another feature of the hangar is a quieter work environment using sound-resistant side paneling, which was custom-built for this facility. Even the building’s landscaping uses a minimal amount of water.

“This building certainly has features that will be incorporated in future buildings. This is definitely a template for future hangars,” said Mr. Kempton.

Wing Commander Brig. Gen. James Rubeor is very pleased with the standard the hangar sets.

“(It) gives us great capabilities to house and service our C-17s,” said General Rubeor. “It incorporates state-of-the-art design and safety features that will assist our personnel in accomplishing the mission and protect our most valuable asset – our Airmen.”

The wing is taking delivery of the building on time and under budget. The building is scheduled to be ready by June 1, more than two months ahead of the Aug. 9 delivery of the first C-17.

“This was a good military and industrial partnership,” said General Rubeor.

The 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., will loan the 452nd AMW a C-17 for the hangar’s June dedication ceremony and for training use by aircrews.

The first phase of the building process ended April 20 with the final fire sprinkler foam test. Nine generators pumped foam from a 700-gallon tank onto the hangar floor, a fire suppression feature designed to smother flames in less than a minute.

Phase two starts May 16 and includes construction of an adjacent facility to house C-17 maintenance shops.