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NEWS | Aug. 3, 2021

New AFCEC division key to nuclear infrastructure modernization

By Mila Cisneros Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Public Affairs

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is centralizing its support of the Air Force’s multi-billion-dollar nuclear infrastructure portfolio with a new division.

The nuclear enterprise division, or CFN, supports the Department of Defense’s nuclear triad by integrating modernization efforts for the two Air Force-led nuclear delivery systems — intercontinental ballistic missiles and bombers.

The initiative, led by AFCEC’s Col. Chris Stoppel, is a collaborative partnership with Air Force Global Strike Command, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center and the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center’s Detachment 10.

The team in the new division will lead military construction and large-scale renovation efforts for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent, and the Weapons Generation Facilities programs. 

“Mission-ready infrastructure is essential to accelerate installation readiness and resilience, and provide the nation with unequivocal advantage through air and space power,” said Col. Dave Norton, deputy director of AFCEC’s Facility Engineering Directorate. “AFCEC’s new initiative will strengthen national defense capabilities through a ‘unity of effort’ partnership necessary across the enterprise to reinvigorate the elements of the nuclear deterrence program.”

The effort is a focused approach, launched by AFCEC Commander Maj. Gen. John Allen, for more stringent oversight and management of high-visibility, complex programs.

AFCEC’s initial five capabilities-based programs include: environmental compliance and restoration, housing portfolio management, energy assurance, integrated base response and recovery, and built infrastructure and recapitalization, or BII&R. 

The BII&R initiative advocates for resilient, right-sized and sustainable infrastructure; the new division supports nuclear mission owners by delivering the infrastructure they need to meet mission requirements.

“The critical need to modernize our nuclear systems demanded one integrated office under AFIMSC, with everyone on-board and speaking as one voice,” Norton said.
“The CFN program will protect the greater air and space mission by creating an integrated focus, improved resource management and better transparency between key mission partners to successfully recapitalize the nuclear enterprise,” Stoppel said. 

“CFN stand up demonstrates the priority AFIMSC and AFCEC place on nuclear modernization programs over the next 20 years, and acknowledges the complexity of bedding-down these major weapons systems,” said Lt. Col. Robert Liu, civil engineer lead for AFIMSC Det. 10.

AFIMSC’s Det. 10 is the integrator, coordinating various engineering efforts with AFGSC installations and AFCEC, to ensure all infrastructure requirements are met, while AFGSC is the mission owner and the lead command for the new weapons systems.

“Because of the level of activities and coordination required for each project, having one integrated office at AFIMSC, with Col. Stoppel’s leadership, will ensure AFGSC installations receive an integrated look from engineers in every stage of each project,” said James Hunsicker, site activation task force lead for AFGSC.

The new AFCEC division will also sustain the current MILCON mission focused on recapitalizing, rebuilding and repairing existing nuclear infrastructure across AFGSC. 

“Our mission is to combine what we are sustaining and repairing with what we are looking to build for the new weapons systems,” said Andrew Cross, a division chief in AFGSC’s Civil Engineering Directorate.

Twelve billion dollars in AFCEC-managed investments are planned over the next 20 years to modernize nuclear infrastructure across AFGSC. 

“Our CFN portfolio includes the requirements definition, design, and construction of new launch facilities, launch control centers and other supporting facilities and infrastructure required for supporting the GBSD initiative as well as weapon generation facilities supporting the AFGSC mission,” Stoppel said.

Construction is already underway for the first $159 million weapons generation facility at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, which AFCEC awarded in December 2019. The 90,000 square-foot facility, replacing the current weapons storage area, will provide a safer and more secure infrastructure for the storage of Air Force assets. 

Other efforts include the construction of the mission-essential mission integration facility and software sustainment center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. 

“There are more capability-focused modernization efforts on the horizon over the next 12 months and the consolidation of all the efforts into one central division will keep AFCEC, AFIMSC and AFGSC speaking with one Civil Engineering voice, ensuring all of the necessary installation support is provided to effectively employ the nuclear triad,” said Col. Chad BonDurant, commander of AFIMSC’s Detachment 10.