Hardened aircraft shelters constructed at Kunsan

Ribbon cutting

Leaders from the 8th Fighter Wing, Hanwha Engineering and Construction, Far East District, and the Republic of Korea Ministry of National Defense, cut a ribbon inside a new hardened aircraft shelter on Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 31, 2020. The ribbon-cutting marks the completion of 20 new aircraft shelters built on Kunsan's flightline. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Will Bracy)

Hardened aircraft shelters

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to celebrate the construction of twenty new hardened aircraft shelters on Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, July 31, 2020. The construction project took four years to complete. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Will Bracy)

Col. Christopher “Wolf” Hammond, 8th Fighter Wing commander, along with leadership from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers of the Far East District (USACE of the FED), and Republic of Korean Air Force representatives conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of construction of new hardened aircraft shelters (HAS) on Kunsan Air Base, July 31, 2020.

Thanks to the joint efforts, the aircraft units now have 20 new third generation HAS facilities.

“In addition to the normal ‘red tape’ and hurdles that come with a construction project of this magnitude, this team had to work through the impact of COVID-19 and they rose to the challenge,” said Hammond. “A huge win not only when it comes to protecting our aircraft, but also for our maintainers who take care of them and the operators who fly them.”

Col. Christopher Crary, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District commander, also spoke at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“This project and this team was selected as a Far East District Project Delivery Team of the Year,” Crary said.  “With over 300-plus projects in the planning, design, or construction phase, that is a great accomplishment.”

The project was a $125 million ROK Funded Construction project that administered the Ministry of National Defense-Defense Installations Agency (MND-DIA) for 51 months.

“That’s not a small build,” said Crary. “This is a special project that signifies true excellence in mission execution.”

The HAS’s have ventilation and engine exhaust systems to allow aircraft engines to run inside the shelter with the hangar doors closed.  It also has new fire prevention systems and improved storm drainage systems, along with other safety features.  This provides an upgraded protection area for Kunsan’s fighters, and a safer working environment for Airmen.