USACE delivers key to Incirlik's Eagle housing community
Col. John Kem (left), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District commander, hands over a ceremonial key plaque to Col. Eric Beene, 39th Air Base Wing commander, during a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 15, 2010, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The ceremony commemorated the completion of 100 new housing units as part of the final phase of the Eagle Housing Project.

<b>INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey</b> - Out with the old, in with the new - base housing that is.

U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District representatives officially opened the doors to 44 new homes during a ribbon-cutting ceremony June 15 in the Eagle Housing area.

The ceremony marked the completion of the final phase of the three-phased $15.2 million Eagle Housing project that delivered a total of 100 energy-efficient, code-compliant homes to the Incirlik community.

"We went through a circuitous path to get here, but we were successful nonetheless," said Col. Eric Beene, 39th Air Base Wing commander. "When Gen. [Roger] Brady [U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander] came through a few months ago, we were proud to show these off, and they were impressed when they saw the quality of the houses we're able to provide our Airmen."

The Eagle Housing project started as an idea built around overcoming massive damage to the Eagle housing infrastructure due to an earthquake in 1998, according to Air Force officials. The housing area's 150 houses, built in the 1960s, were condemned due to the damage and plans were instituted to demolish the homes and rebuild the housing area from the ground up. Congressional appropriations soon followed and USACE spearheaded the new project.

Each new unit is a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home with family, living and dining rooms as well as exterior and interior storage areas - double the size of the former units and valuable space for the families that move their entire lives overseas, said Col. John Kem, Europe District commander.

"We are glad to be here to celebrate today in the completion of what really is a great project," he said. "For the people who have to move overseas, it's nice to give them a house that meets the quality of their service and that's certainly what we've done here."

Coupled with the on-going Phantom and Falcon Housing renovations being managed by both the district and 39th Civil Engineer Squadron, Incirlik will have a grand total of about 650 housing units when complete in 2013.

Kem said the completion of this project, as well as the ongoing teamwork on other projects here are examples of the things USACE and USAFE can do together to bring a better quality of life to service members, civilians and families stationed overseas.

"It was nice to see these projects [on Incirlik] are pretty much on time and on target, and we're committed to keeping them going that way," he said.

Other USACE projects on the installation include a Consolidated Community Center that will house the community activity center, base theater, library and education center; infrastructure repairs to the Base Medical Clinic; and renovations of classrooms at the Incirlik Unit School.

The end-goal of these projects is for the well-being of our military families, Beene said.

"I'm hoping for more folks coming down, bringing their families and enjoying the great quality of life that all of you have helped us to provide to our Airmen and their families," he said.

Page last updated Wed June 23rd, 2010 at 05:15