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Al Udeid C-17 supply facility under construction to support enduring mission

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kia Atkins
  • 379th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
With the U.S. military presence in the region shifting from expeditionary to enduring, construction of permanent facilities, here, have increased to reinforce this enduring posture.

The 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineering Squadron is at the forefront of these construction projects, which improve quality of life for U.S. servicemembers deployed here and operational facilities that directly support missions throughout the U.S. Central Command area of operations.

One of several projects currently under construction includes the C-17 spare parts facility.

“Al Udeid is the hub for aircraft coming in and out of the [AOR],” said Maj. Timothy Scheffler, 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron engineering flight commander, “having spare parts readily available to sustain that mission is critical.”

Currently over 16,000 spare parts for the C-17 are stored in connexes on a dirt lot making them susceptible to rapid degradation due to dirt, sand and heat. These conditions have resulted in critical parts being rendered unserviceable, which adversely affects maintenance times and increase airlift requirements.

"The intense summer heat and humidity absolutely plays a huge role in the number of supply parts we find to be deficient,” said Lt. Col. Jesse Baker, 8th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander. “Last year the total dollar value of those deficient parts exceeded $600,000. In addition to the cost of the parts, though, deficient parts ultimately mean we have to accomplish the repair at least twice. Being able to store and properly organize our supply parts will pay dividends not only in the amount of money we save by reducing the number of deficient parts, but will save the EAMS valuable time in returning aircraft to mission ready status."

Due to the lack of storage facilities available and outside storage not being permitted, C-17 engines cannot be stored here. Consequently, all C-17 engines must be shipped here once a requirement is identified, greatly increasing maintenance times and fuel costs.

“The significance of building enduring facilities like these is that they last longer and there’s less maintenance associated with them,” said Scheffler. “From a host nation perspective, it shows our willingness to commit to Al Udeid and the joint development of the installation along with the Al Udeid project office and Qatari Emiri Air Force. It’s basically a commitment to our host nation to let them know we’re going to be here for the long haul.”