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News > Airlift control flight dedicates revamped building
Renovated ALCF building
Air Force Reservists chat Sept. 9, 2012, in a gleaming bay following a dedication ceremony for the 512th Airlift Control Flight's renovated headquarters building at Dover Air Force Base, Del. The structure underwent $4.6 million in repairs over the past 15 months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti)
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Airlift control flight dedicates revamped building

Posted 9/9/2012   Updated 9/9/2012 Email story   Print story


by Chief Master Sgt. Matt Proietti
512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

9/9/2012 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- The 512th Airlift Control Flight had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sunday for its revamped headquarters building after a 15-month, $4.6 million renovation.

"Our job embodies what Air Mobility Command is all about - rapid global mobility," said Lt. Col. Mark F. Visco, the unit's commander. "The Air Force didn't give us a pretty building with nice windows (just) to look out at the flight line. It will allow us to do our job better than we already do."

The flight, part of the Air Reserve Command's 512th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, deploys contingency response element personnel and equipment globally. They conduct airfield operations and plan, coordinate and conduct loading and unloading of aircraft, air-refueling and provide secure and unsecure communications. Unit personnel deployed to Florida in 2010 to control airflow for the humanitarian relief effort to Haitian earthquake victims, and the flight frequently works with the FBI and Navy SEALs in their deployments.

When notified of an emergency, members have 24 hours to report to the base. They must then depart in half of that time to do their job wherever needed.

"This building will help us do that better than we already do," said Visco.

The unit formerly shared space with the Civil Air Patrol and moved twice during renovations. The need for improvements was driven by the unit's growth in the past few years. The building's office space was modernized and its storage bay was updated.

Staff Sgt. Johnathan Concepcion, a member of the flight's operations section, said the building was "practically condemned" prior to the renovation.

"It had potholes in the floor and insulation was falling down. There was no room to work."

The building is dominated by the storage bay, which has non-stick coating on its floor for equipment and vehicles. The structure also has two levels of office space and rooms for meetings or training. An elevator connects the floors for those who have trouble navigating staircases. Four automatic roll-up doors replaced a massive, manually operated hangar opening that lost warmer or cooler interior air to the outside.

Retired Master Sgt. Jim Ralph of Magnolia, Del., who worked in the airlift control flight for nearly a quarter-century, returned to the ceremony to see changes in the building where the unit moved in 1990.

"It was dark and dank. We were able to get the job done in it, but the condition impacted morale," he said. "Now it will impact morale in a positive way."

Visco acknowledged the backing provided by Col. Gretchen M. Wiltse of the 512th Mission Support Group and Col. Randal L. Bright, former 512th wing commander. The latter was succeeded in May by Col. Raymond Kozak, who spoke briefly Sunday and participated in a ceremonial cutting of a ribbon with oversized scissors.

"I know how hard it is to move the bureaucratic mountain to buy a new box of paper clips...so imagine how much effort went into something like this fantastic new facility," said Kozak. "It has a real mission impact where the rubber meets the road in contingency response. That's a big deal. That's hard work."

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