By L. Cunningham, 55th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 22, 2019
The 55th Maintenance Squadron aerospace ground equipment shop is now fully operational at the Bennie L. Davis Maintenance Facility at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Nov. 18, 2019. The AGE shop was displaced to another location on base after their facility received damage during the historical flood earlier this year. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)
The 55th Security Forces Squadron military working dog kennels are now fully operational at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., Nov. 18, 2019. Team Offutt is making headway toward restoration on many structures that were damaged during the historic flood earlier this year. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)
Equipment is stacked in a hallway of the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. Nov. 18, 2019. Team Offutt is making headway toward restoration on many structures that were damaged during the historic flood earlier this year. (U.S. Air Force photo by L. Cunningham)
Earlier this year historically high flood waters covered almost one-third of the base and caused damage to structures.
A long recovery process began when the waters finally receded and the 55th Civil Engineer Squadron was able to access and survey the damaged area, with the initial concern being safety.
Many units were displaced due to the damaging flood. Team Offutt opened their doors and made adjustments within their units to make room for Airmen to continue working from safe locations, so their missions could continue. One hundred buildings were inundated with flood waters, and 61 of them are scheduled to be demolished.
The 55th Logistics Readiness Squadron had 31 of 35 of their facilities in the flood waters, and 41 components of fuels infrastructure, such as hydrants pits, underground storage, containment tanks, and check points. The squadron’s first recovery efforts were focused on re-establishing the supply chain for spare parts, fuel and liquid oxygen. The 55th LRS took multiple steps to regain their capabilities to continue the mission, which affects not only the 55th Wing, but associate units here and around the world.
Team Offutt is making headway toward restoration on many of the structures that were damaged. As of Nov. 7, five buildings have been restored for operations, and two additional buildings are scheduled to be finished this month.
The 55th Security Forces Squadron kennels have been fully restored, so handlers and military working dogs can operate out of their old facility. Both aircraft maintenance facilities here have also been renovated, and the 55th Maintenance Group, aerospace ground equipment shop, and various offices are once again fully operational.
Throughout the Bennie Davis Maintenance Facility boxes of supplies, large floor sanders and other equipment required to complete the restoration indicate the work that continues to be done. The metal framework within the walls is beginning to disappear as drywall is placed, taped, and sanded in preparation for painting.
With the restorations unique to each structure, Team Offutt is slowly making its way back to normalization.