The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Transatlantic Division’s Transatlantic Expeditionary District, and senior leaders from affected units, participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for a new Rotational Combat Aviation Brigade Headquarters at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Dec. 28, 2021.
This traditional ceremony signifies the official beginning of the $1.5 million headquarters construction project that the team at the Expeditionary District, along with incoming staff at 11th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, and planners with Area Support Group – Kuwait, will work together to oversee and construct. The construction phase of this project will last about a year.
The designs for this project were developed by Army Corps of Engineers’ Middle East District, while the engineering and construction will be managed by the Expeditionary District, both within the Transatlantic Division of Army Corps of Engineers.
Prior rotational aviation units used multiple buildings spread across the camp, often at significant distance from the aviation assets they managed.
During his ceremony remarks, Col. Charles Lockwood, the Area Support Group - Kuwait commander, spoke of how this construction lines up with the Chief of Staff of the Army’s modernization priorities for making sure U.S. forces can project power around the world.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for us to continue increasing the footprint and infrastructure so U.S. Army and U.S. forces can project power outside Kuwait,” Lockwood said.
Gary Weiler, the Expeditionary District’s project manager responsible for the project, said the new 7,400 square foot facility is expected to be a semi-permanent, multi-purpose facility, that brings the entire aviation headquarters element together and closer to the aircraft they are managing.
Weiler, who is on his eighth deployment supporting Army Corps of Engineers construction projects in the Middle East, enjoys deployments as often he can see projects through to completion.
“I am happy to be here and support all the units that have been occupying Camp Buehring and supporting operations in this region for nearly 20 years,” Weiler said. “The Combat Aviation Brigade and the local DPW (Department of Public Works) took the time and effort to get this project approved to support their operational needs, and now it falls to us, TAE, to execute and take this project across the finish line.”
For Col. Kenneth Reed, the commander of the Expeditionary District in Kuwait, getting a project into the hands of the user, when the user needs the building, is a critical component of the Army Corps of Engineers planning and prioritization process.
“The Army Corps of Engineers have a reputation for some of the highest quality construction in the DoD, but if you can’t get a project done when the user needs it, it doesn’t matter,” Reed said. “So, the ‘speed of relevance’ is all about building facilities, in the time that the end user is going to be able to use it, and going forth, for it to be used in the end state it was designed to be.”
Reed noted that once completed the new aviation facility will finally house the entire aviation brigade and staff along with offices for aviators, maintenance and training functions.
“Having the entire brigade under one roof, in proximity to the airfield and aviation assets, will enhance their effectiveness, mission readiness, and the command and control needed for in-theater aviation operations,” Reed said.
The RCAB building is just one of almost 240 projects, valued at $800 million, that the Expeditionary District manages across the Middle East region.
Editor's note: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Transatlantic Division’s Expeditionary District is the premier engineering, design, and construction district for all DoD agencies in the Kuwait and the Republic of Iraq. As the newest district in Army Corps of Engineers, Expeditionary District employees play a critical role in the readiness of U.S. forces in the region and actively manage construction projects in support of Operation Spartan Shield and Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.