CE planning team keeps Vance on track for excellence

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Gavin Kim
  • 71st Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Every year Vance’s Civil Engineering Design Team receives funds to use for base improvement projects. Projects can range from repairs and renovations of existing buildings to new construction.

However, these projects cannot happen without a significant preparation phase. For every project request sent to the CEDT, engineers, architects and other experts must plan out every aspect of the project. What materials to use and ensuring code compliance are among the many decisions these men and women make every time work is needed.

Christopher Taylor, the chief engineer, describes the CEDT as “intimately familiar with each building” on base and “intentionally proactive… searching to improve quality of life for Air Force members.”

This level of familiarity is accomplished through routine testing of every piece of infrastructure on base, including surveying land and collecting test samples for precise data. As a result of this lengthy process, preparation for projects can begin up to 10 years in advance of funding.

CEDT has prepared for more than 40 projects utilizing data-driven solutions as recommended by the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center and the Air Force Civil Engineering Center. This is far more than what would typically be expected, said Capt. Bethany Kenser, the 71st Installation Support Squadron operations officer.

Most years the funds are simply unavailable for this many projects. In 2022, however, the Air Force had significantly more funds available than usual. The Vance CEDT was ready to step-up and request those funds, receiving over $128 million; about 40 times the typical amount.

These funds will target a multitude of projects, including renovations to base dormitories and the 71st Operations Group facility. Such projects ensure Vance continues to be capable of safely and effectively developing Air Force aviators.

Another major project that received funding is the repair of Vance’s center runway.

According to Jomara Ortiz, a civil engineer, testing of the center runway showed that it not only has cracks and divots but also grade deficiencies which can collect water after rainfall. Such issues pose a significant risk to pilots using the runway.

When the repair is complete, all three of Vance’s runways will have been repaired within the past 10 years.

The engineers, architects and other experts on Vance’s Civil Engineering Design Team include: David Hathcoat, Civil Engineering director; Dennis Burnett, Civil Engineering operations director; Brooke Burnett, associate engineer/contract programmer; Mark Carvalho, architect; Edgar Estrada, staff engineer; Cody Haney, fire protection engineer; Michael Jordan, electrical engineer; Jack Morgan, architect; Charles Snyder, architectural engineer; Jason Weber, construction lead; Curtis Steward, construction inspector; Evan Edgell, construction inspector; Dylan Martin, staff engineer; Chelsi Mootz, staff engineer; Cameron Pogue, staff engineer; Kent Thedford, technician; and Ryan Sudlow, senior mechanical engineer.