By Air Force Maj. Gary Arasin
National Guard Bureau
ARLINGTON, Va. (8/22/13) - Air National Guard civil engineers are teaming with their communication and network engineer counterparts to move radar equipment from Antigua Air Station, Antigua to H.E. Holt Naval Communications Station in Australia.
As part of a joint effort between the United States and Australia to enhance and expand situational awareness in space, the team will install the C-band radar that will be a dedicated sensor in the Space Surveillance Network. The radar provides highly accurate tracking of objects in space to improve overall space flight safety and situational awareness.
Following a 2011 request from the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, the joint team developed a proposal and cost estimate to renovate an existing building at the future radar site, construct a new antenna support structure, and conduct setup at the new location.
The project offered the team a chance to show its skills and save the government about $20 million, said Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Thorenz, the relocation Engineering Installation lead project manager.
"To reinvent the engineering and installation processes, as well as civil engineering, into a solid methodical work force, is a challenging and rewarding effort," said Thorenz, a member of the New York Air Guard. "Our composite team has been driven by the need of the customer and our desire to display our vast capabilities within our ANG workforce."
The engineering team sees this as a potential template for future projects, said Tennessee Air Guard's Lt. Col. Craig Bradford, Air Guard Civil Engineer project manager.
"In these days of shrinking budgets, a project like this demonstrates to the DoD how valuable an asset they have in the civil engineering community," he said.
EI squadrons from New York, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma are providing experts to this project, while a variety of states will be providing specialties such as electrical, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, construction, transportation and medical support.
The first CE team will deploy to Australia in August to begin site preparation, and the first EI team will deploy to Antigua in January 2014 to being disassembling and packing the radar for shipment to its new location.