SAVANNAH, Ga. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials recently unveiled a new, award-winning facility to house tactical unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the XVIII Airborne Corps, one of the Army’s elite units based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The UAS hangar and runway complex received the National Eagle Award at both state and national levels from the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., and state-level honors from the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) in December 2016. As of this writing, Caddell Construction, prime construction contractor of the project, awaits word on national-level recognition by the AGC.
Both awards honor the nation’s most innovative and high-quality construction projects, safety programs and diversity programs in the construction industry.
The nearly $34 million project features an operations and maintenance hangar for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, a medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS. The Gray Eagle’s design will meet next-generation tactical challenges as outlined in the U.S. Army’s Aviation Modernization Plan.
The facility’s design meets a 50-year standard and the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver certification requirements, a nationally recognized benchmark for green building design, said Karl Gabzydl, a USACE resident engineer.
Department of Public Works officials at Fort Bragg selected Camp Mackall, a sub-installation of Fort Bragg, as the new home for the hangar. Its large three-runway airport and facilities satisfy requirements for special training that Army elite forces must undergo.
“The location was an excellent site because it provided an opportunity to use one of the airfield’s old runways to accommodate [UAS] operations and training,” said Gabzydl.
The Corps’ project delivery team (PDT) crossed multiple engineering disciplines, districts and organizations to deliver the world-class facility, which opened in June 2016.
“This was a very challenging project and Caddell was an outstanding contractor and partner,” said Gabzydl. “The entire PDT got along well, supported the mission and has much to be proud about on how the final project turned out.”
The Corps will partner with Caddell to construct Fort Bragg’s next training facility, an aerial gunnery range, which will support live fire aerial gunnery practice. The range is scheduled for completion in August 2018, said Gabzydl.