February 17, 2010 (by TSgt. William Hancock) - A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Feb. 12, celebrating the opening of the completely renovated engine shop which includes more than 30,000 square feet of space and major upgrades.
Members from the 49th AMXS pose for a group photo during the opening of the newly renovated engine shop on February 12th, 2010. The renovation, which totalled more than $2 million. [USAF photo by A1C. Veronica Stamps]
The F-22 Raptor arriving to Holloman brought many changes to the base, including the need for a bigger engine shop, said Senior Master Sgt. Glen Klomp, 49th Maintenance Squadron propulsion flight chief.
The F-22A's engine is larger than the engine in the F-117 Nighthawk, the non-augmented 404 GE
The renovation, which totaled more than $2 million, included a new bridge crane, hoists, floor finish, wall paint, electrical panels and circuits, windows, eyewash stations, an air compressor, a hot water heater, refurbished bathrooms and offices and a relocated radiant heater.
The Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight shared the original building with the propulsion flight. The AGE flight relocated and the propulsion flight moved to a temporary building while the renovations were completed.
"Its great to see the propulsion flight get into their new facility," said Maj. Anthony Puente, 49th MXS commander. "They have been crammed in facilities that were too small for the last eight months; yet they still maintained the highest standards of excellence in their work. The propulsion flight's job is a pivotal piece in meeting the mission requirements of the F-22. It is important they have a building, such as this one, that helps them succeed."
The building's renovation began in July 2009 and was expected to be completed in May 2010. The contractors remained ahead of schedule and completed the job in February, well in advance of the scheduled date.
"We are very happy to see the great job the contractor did repairing this facility ahead of schedule and on budget," said Sergeant Klomp. "They did a great job. The upgrades enable the Air Force and Pratt and Whitney maintainers to set up this shop to smartly maintain the F-119 engine now and in the future."
The 49th Maintenance Group commander, Col. Donald Van Patten, shared his thoughts at the ceremony.
"We've come full circle today," he said. "We had beginnings with Pratt and Whitney and today we are reopening the engine shop with their newest jet engine. I'm extremely appreciative that we were able to receive the funding for this important piece of the F-22 mission. This building will help Airmen and Pratt and Whitney successfully maintain the F-119 engines and keep them on the wing longer."