By Jamie Haig, 16 SOW Public Affairs
/ Published May 08, 2006
HURLBURT, FIELD, FLA --
Repairs of the Eason Hangar’s roof, doors and offices due to age, hurricane and wind damages started in December 2005 and will continue with four separate phases until 2009.
Hurricane Ivan in 2004 damaged a large part of the roof, some siding and severely stressed the 16 large hangar door sections.
After fixing the roof, Hurricane Dennis came along in 2005 and redamaged the facility.
“Our plans are to strengthen the entire roof,” said Keith Cutshaw, 16th Civil Engineer Squadron. “But the replacement work won’t affect the work going on inside of the hangar.”
Money that was allocated for repairs from Hurricane Ivan are paying to fix the roof and hangar doors. Regular operations money will fund the other phases of repairs, said Mr. Cutshaw.
“Due to budget cuts, re-pairs couldn’t be done before now,” said Mr. Cutshaw. “The damage from the hurricanes made it necessary to fund the repairs now.”
Eason Hangar was built in 1957. Forty-nine years later, the structure, which has survived multiple hurricanes still stands strong.
“The cost to build it back then was $1.3 million,” said Mr. Cutshaw, “To replace it today would cost $22 million.”
The hangar is 122,640 square feet. Comparatively, it’s large enough to enclose 60-2,000 square foot houses. Maintenance continues on the 16th Special Operation Wings aircraft in one half of the hangar, while repairs on the roof will take place on the opposite side.
Other projects for the hangar include a new hoist for lifting engines and other heavy airplane parts from the airframe, a new fire suppression system, expansion of offices and new flooring.
The current fire suppression system is the original system from 1957 and is scheduled to be replaced with a high expansion foam suppression system.
Several small, ground floor offices will have walls removed to make larger offices.
The original concrete flooring in the shop areas will be painted with an epoxy coating and replaced with therapeutic floor mats designed to relieve the stress on Airmen’s backs and legs.
“We’re a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week operation,” said Master Sgt. Art Willey, program manager for the 16th Equipment Maintenance Squadron. “These repairs are critical in maintaining the 16th SOW Maintenance activity. The hangar repairs will allow our maintainers to keep the wing's aircraft flying safely well into the future."
The 16th Equipment Maintenance Squadron ‘owns’ the hangar, but it's home to elements at the 16th Maintenance Operations Squadron, 16th Component Maintenance Squadron and 10th Combat Weather Squadron.