2022 State of the Base highlights care, innovation, readiness

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Dover Air Force Base hosted the 2022 Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee State of the Base, Nov. 21, 2022.

The event brought together business, community and military leaders to increase understanding of the base’s role in the local and global communities.

The State of the Base is told through the “eyes of Team Dover Airmen,” through stories that illustrate the wing’s mission of Deliver, vision of are #EmpoweredAF and priorities of care, readiness and innovation.

“Last year we told you that the State of the Base was going to be through the eyes of the Airmen, and this year we want to continue their story because they are the Airmen that are #EmpoweredAF,” said Col. Matt Husemann, 436th Airlift Wing commander. “We know today that the State of the Base is strong. We are here to deliver, that’s the mission of Dover AFB.”

The four military construction projects highlighted were the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System warehouse, completed in May 2022, the Fuel Cell Hangar, estimated to open in the Fall of 2023, the K-8 base school, estimated to open in late 2024, early 2025 and a new dormitory slated for fiscal year 2025.

“Some people think the State of the Base is a [military construction briefing] project or maybe it’s the economic impact…,” said Husemann. “The $8.8 million that we put on the Government Purchase Card in the state of Delaware, the $6.9 million that we spend for contracts for the State of Delaware or the small businesses that were $3.6 million of that [amount], that’s what [it’s] is about.”

The security assistance the U.S. is providing to Ukraine is enabling critical success on the battlefield against the Russian invading force. Dover AFB operates the largest aerial port in the Department of Defense, and because of this, a large portion of the security aid missions bound for Ukraine have originated from Dover AFB. Dover AFB has supported 204 security assistance missions and has moved 33.7 million pounds of cargo bound for Ukraine.

“Sustaining our joint support of Ukraine, in my mind, is one of the most critical things we need to do,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons. “Your performance inspired militaries around the world.”

During the State of the Base, Husemann also spoke about the innovation of Team Dover Airmen, highlighting a modification for snap ring pliers created by Staff Sgt. Ben Newsome, 436th Maintenance Squadron Bedrock intern. The modification resulted in clip removal time decreasing from 10-15 minutes to a matter of seconds.

“I found our visit to Bedrock incredibly inspiring during last year’s presentation, and I was fairly excited to get a chance to hear from the power-engaged, highly motivated men and women of this base, who are taking cutting-edge capability to 3-D printing,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons.

Several Delaware congressional delegates attended the event, including Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, and U.S. Senator Tom Carper.