FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – Guests gathered near Campbell Army Airfield June 29 to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony for a new vehicle maintenance shop/tactical equipment maintenance facility.
The project is set to be completed in 2024. To date, Fort Campbell only has 18 vehicle maintenance shop facilities built to modern standard designs, Col. Andrew Q. Jordan, garrison commander, said in his remarks.
The installation still maintains nine Korean War era maintenance facilities and 29 pre-engineered metal buildings used as vehicle maintenance shops, all of which are undersized and lacking in capability, Jordan said.
Korean War era “buildings were designed and constructed to fit Jeeps and obviously the tactical vehicles the Army uses these days are much larger and more complex than that, so they lack storage space, overhead crane capabilities, and the crew capacity,” said Jessica Stonesifer, director of Public Works.
“And that increases their maintenance time by 20-30%, which keeps them backlogged in maintenance activities, and that definitely has an impact on mission readiness,” Stonesifer said.
Aside from negatively impacting Soldier readiness, Jordan said the older buildings contribute to a decrease in square footage of space available for maintenance.
“They contribute to a vehicle deficit of over 153,000 square feet of vehicle maintenance shop space,” he said. “This $30.5 million project will partially mitigate that deficit and enable a battalion of the 101st Airborne Division to occupy the first new field-level vehicle maintenance shop constructed at Fort Campbell since 2014.”
The project became a reality because of a collaborative effort between local partners, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Louisville District, and the U.S. Army Garrison-Fort Campbell Directorate of Public Works who oversaw the project from its conception.
That partnership was integral in advancing this project and ensuring the deliverables exceed the expectation and standards, said Maj. Guillermo Guandique, deputy district commander, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Louisville District.
“My hope is that the spirit of cooperation that we’ve shown here today continues and translates into a successful project,” Guandique said. “I also want to express gratitude to the installation garrison here at Fort Campbell who have been exceptional partners and we are committed to working alongside you all to bring this necessary facility to the 101st Airborne Division.”
The new facility will contribute to Soldier readiness in future endeavors and is of even greater importance now with the evolving situation in Europe, Jordan said.
“As we gather here today, elements of the 101st Airborne Division are in the process of deploying to Europe to assure NATO allies and deter Russian aggression,” he said. “We are confident that our Soldiers are ready because the 101st Airborne Division spent months leading up to this deployment in preparation and training. Facilities like these provide the resources Soldiers need to test and strengthen their mission essential skills.”
The new facility includes construction of a modern standard design medium tactical equipment maintenance facility, or TEMF, of 36,000 square feet and 43,422 square yards of concrete paved organizational parking.
The idea for the new facility dates back almost 20 years, said Chad Taylor, community planner with DPW Master Planning. But because of several setbacks, the project took longer than expected.
“It was an HQDA [Headquarters, Department of the Army] directed project that dates back to 2005 when it was a larger complex and when the directive came down from HQDA for design that came with the conditions that it would be down-scoped to a medium facility at that time in 2018 and a programed amount of $32 million,” Taylor said.
The design phase experienced a few hiccups between 2018 and 2022 that led to delays in construction, Jordan said.
“We stayed on task because of our shared vision to provide better facilities that enhance Soldier readiness and increase lethality,” he said.
Jordan said he is grateful to finally see construction begin.
“Projects like these are the result of many months, even years of planning,” he said. “Today signifies the culmination of all of the effort to bring this project to fruition. This is an important milestone in our collective effort to train, equip and prepare our Soldiers to dominate in whatever mission they are assigned.”