(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Wednesday morning, the 139th Airlift Wing celebrated its newest addition to the north side of the base with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Rosecrans Air National Guard Base now equipped with a $5.87 million communications building. The nearly 15,000 sq ft facility sits on the north side of the airport as the 139th continues to migrate in that direction.
“Actually, what we just signed this last year with the city of St. Joseph is the lease. We actually now just picked up an additional 86 acres and that’s going to be crucial in our movement up to the north,” said Major Matt Neil, a civil engineer for the 139th Airlift Wing.
The communications building broke ground in October of 2019, but Major Neil said it's been an ongoing project since 2004.
According to airlift crews, Rosecrans' latest addition will provide the communication squadron with top of the line equipment and more space to protect the base.
"They are the folks that make things happen on base as far as all our comm assets. They handle a lot of our security stuff for our communication sector and obviously, our day to day laptops and network and everything else they do for us," said Major Neil.
Colonel John Cluck, Commander of the 139th Airlift Wing said, "Anybody in a military uniform will know if you ever lose your communication access, if you lose your computer, you might as well cut off both your arms because you just don't have anything left to do."
Besides securing the connection, Airlift crews said this new space also gives the communications team beefed up protection against enemies.
“A lot of our anti-terrorism and force protection measures we can’t meet all those due to just the confined space that we’re at on the south side, so by moving up north, we’re able to expand a little bit and meet all the force protection measures,” said Major Neil.
With one more building done, Rosecrans will continue to roll out projects to grow its north side such as the C-130H flight simulator currently underway. Construction of the flight simulator began in October 2020.
According to the 139th, its next project currently planned is a new aircraft parking apron.
The communication building project also included a storm water drainage effort which included building a basin and culvert. The drainage project cost an additional $2.81 million.