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Westover Air Reserve Base breaks ground on one project, cuts ribbon on another

USACE - Louisville District
Published Oct. 22, 2021
Updated: Oct. 22, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps Engineers Louisville District recently reached milestones for two projects located at the Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
Construction is set to begin on the new Regional ISO Maintenance Hangar Project as work concludes on the Indoor Small Arms Range onsite.

The Regional ISO Maintenance Hangar project was awarded June 17, 2021. ISO stands for Isochronal Inspections, which are in-depth inspections of aircrafts after they have flown a certain number of hours or are a certain age, according to Jimmy Marshall, Louisville District project manager.   

This project will consist of constructing a 105,000 square foot high-bay aircraft maintenance hangar to support eight permanently assigned C-5 aircraft. The hangar will also include an office area, restrooms and a sheet metal shop. 

“This project is unique in that it will be a state-of-the-art facility and will serve as the Regional ISO Inspection Hangar to support the C-5 aircraft for the Air Force Reserves Fleet,” said Marshall.  
According to a 2019 news release from Westover ARB, this project will replace the current 70-year-old Regional ISO Maintenance Hangar. Westover ARB is the home to the only C-5 minor ISO maintenance hangar in the entire Air Force. C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft from all bases come to Westover ARB for maintenance work. 

Another project the Louisville District manages at Westover ARB is the Indoor Small Arms Range. This $9.5 million project was awarded Aug. 1, 2019. 
“We are very excited to bring this new indoor range training facility to Westover Air Reserve Base,” said Marshall. “This replaces an outdoor range and will provide year around training for the Reservists and security personnel.” 

The Louisville District team oversaw the design, planning and construction of the indoor small arms range, which includes associated storage, restrooms and a weapons cleaning room. The range is a 28-lane live firing range facility with 25-meter firing lanes.

Carl Mudd, Louisville District Architecture Section chief, and his team were instrumental in the design, according to Marshall.

“The new Indoor Small Arms Range at Westover ARB is a perfect example of the type of unique military construction projects that Louisville District and our in-house design team performs in our area of responsibility and nation-wide for the Reserves program,” said Mudd. 

Military installations are like small cities and consist of various building types (barracks, administration, utility, ranges, etc.) and each come with their own design criteria and challenges, according to Mudd. 

The in-house design team executed an indoor shooting range design that posed several challenges including adequate range ventilation to reduce the chance of overexposure to airborne contaminants, noise attenuation to reduce the impacts of harmful noise to personnel at the range, and coordination of complex range equipment such as target systems, bullet traps and overhead baffles. 

“The Air Force Civil Engineer Center provided a standard design, but it was up to our project delivery team to absorb the criteria, adapt the standard and coordinate between all the design disciplines – civil, structural, architecture, interior design, mechanical, plumbing, fire protection and electrical,” said Mudd. “I’m very thankful to have been part of such a talented team of designers and engineers to deliver another facility for our military service members.”

The indoor small arms range project was the first in-house design project to follow the Air Force’s new third-party certification to meet the Unified Facilities Criteria 1-200-02, High Performance and Sustainable Building Requirements. Instead of LEED, the project delivery team used the Department of Defense version of Guiding Principles Compliance certification of the Green Business Certification Inc. 

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new ISO Hangar, and the ribbon cutting for the Small Arms Range, were both held Oct. 19, 2021.