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NEWS | July 3, 2024

New barracks opens at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston

By Samantha Mathison 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

A brand-new facility built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in partnership with the 502nd Air Base Wing was officially opened during a celebratory ribbon cutting here, on June 27, 2024.

Planning for the Unaccompanied Enlisted Personnel Housing began back in 2013, with funding awarded in 2015 and completed in 2023. After passing inspections and loading in the required furniture and appliances, residents began moving in at the beginning of June this year.

Brig. Gen. Russell D. Driggers, JBSA and 502nd Air Base Wing commander, lauded those involved with the building’s creation and explained why this was key in moving forward.

“The opening of this facility is a pivotal milestone. It allows us to relocate our service members from outdated structures, paving the way for much-needed renovations. This is the crucial first step that sets our entire improvement plan in motion," Driggers explained.

The facility cost nearly $39 million to build and includes a central mail kiosk, outdoor boot wash, and exterior bike racks. Additionally, there is a central command and control station on the first floor to enhance security and enable positive control of operations.

The building is three stories and can accommodate 192 personnel. Each room consists of a shared kitchenette and bathroom, with two private bedrooms, and on each floor, there are two laundry rooms along with a communal day room.

According to Driggers, the new building also symbolizes the cooperation between the two services, the Army and the Air Force.

“The new facility embodies the synergy between the Army and Air Force. At Joint Base San Antonio, we're not just coexisting — we're collaborating. By understanding each other's languages, cultures, and methodologies, we create a powerful fusion of our strengths," Driggers said. "This unity enables us to tackle even the most complex challenges facing our military today.”

Chris Kruzel, 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron deputy director, also attended the ceremony and was one of the project managers involved in helping to construct the facility.

“The priority is to increase the quality of life for our service members,” Kruzel said. “This building is a great example of how we get after it.”

After the ceremony, Kruzel led a tour for attendees through the new facility to showcase the joint accomplishment.

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