By Patrick Bray
Far East District
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District and members of the U.S. Air Force's 8th Fighter Wing "Wolf Pack" cut the ribbon on the final phase of a new maintenance complex at Kunsan Air Base Dec. 18.
The accessory shop will provide one location for aircraft components such as wheels, tires, external tanks, and hydraulic and electrical systems to be repaired or replaced. The complex's fabrication and armament shops were completed in 2011.
The previously-completed fabrication shop includes sections for structural sheet metal, aircraft metals technology, non-destructive inspections, and survival equipment. It also includes a state-of-the-art paint booth and sanding room. The armament shop provides space for gun maintenance and a mission equipment storage area. It also features administration offices, a classroom, and training room.
The project consolidates 18 shops spread around the base. With all three now housed in one maintenance facility close to the flight line, the response time to urgent aircraft maintenance issues is greatly reduced.
"Before the new facility was completed, maintenance operations were performed out of several buildings scattered across three square miles," said Andrew Rajala, resident engineer at the district's Kunsan Resident Office. "Now, all these sections are in a single area and there are fewer inefficiencies of transporting parts among the shops."
With the entire project now complete, the 1974-era maintenance facilities will be demolished.