By D.P. Heard, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 12, 2019
The Offutt Next Generation Project Management Office has been stood up in response to the March flood that covered 1.2M square feet of the base.
The team’s job is to coordinate all rebuilding efforts as well as ensure the base is even better prepared for future disasters.
“This is a herculean effort requiring marathon endurance to smart-rebuild Offutt for mission assurance and mission resiliency which will enhance the lethality of our combat air power,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Conover, 55th Wing Next Generation PMO director.
Conover’s team consists of small PMO staff as well as working group member representatives, civil engineer flood directorate staff, contractors, advisory and assistance services, mission partners, Big Safari, weapons officers and advanced programs.
The PMO is also in the process of establishing working groups in the areas of current operations, future operations and new missions.
Many facilities and equipment at Offutt cannot be salvaged or repaired from damages caused by flooding and will need to be rebuilt. The cost to rebuild is in excess of $650 million.
Assessments have been made to determine which facilities can be saved and which will need to be rebuilt. There are approximately 12 facilities that can be salvaged including the Bennie L. Davis Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Complex and the E4-B aircraft hangar. There are more than 20 facilities that must be demolished and reconstructed. Those facilities include the Base Lake Recreation facilities and the 595th Command and Control Group headquarters facility.
“The aim for this project is to recover, relocate, restructure and rebuild Offutt to support both near-term resumption of mission operations and long-term redevelopment of the base as the model Air Force installation of the future,” Conover said.
However, the budget for this undertaking has not been fully approved as of yet by Congress. The rebuilding timelines will be driven by that funding as well as Congressional supplemental appropriations.
“These funds will be crucial to the future success of Offutt,” Conover said.
Another option the team is considering in order to bring mission capabilities back to pre-flood conditions is fiscal year 2020 funds originally intended for other projects.
“We have assistance flying in from all over the United States to assist in the assessment of the damage and to begin reconstruction,” Wilson said. “The United States Air Force will rebuild Offutt Air Force Base. We will work with the Nebraska congressional delegation to secure supplemental funds to be able to recover from the damage and make this base even better than it was.”