Historic HQ building gets facelift

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 90th Civil Engineer Squadron have started renovating historic Building 210, leveraging innovation to improve the wing while gaining valuable training experience in the process.


Built in 1894 at a cost equivalent to 200,000 in today’s dollars, Building 210 served as the headquarters for Fort D.A. Russell, the Army post predecessor to F.E. Warren Air Force Base.


The building desperately needed renovations, and F.E. Warren is responsible for the preservation and upkeep of the historic buildings within its gates. Historic buildings are a unique feature of the oldest continuously operated Air Force Base. 


“F.E. Warren is one of very few conjunction points between the post-Civil War United States and the twenty-first century.  The buildings are worth preserving, and their stories serve as a unique cultural and heritage data point,” said Will McLaughlin, 90th MW historian. “Preservation is a component of the responsible stewardship the U.S. Air Force entrusts the 90th Missile Wing with.”


Renovating the historic headquarters building proved to be too expensive through traditional contracting methods. Fortunately, the CES seized the opportunity to renovate the building while training their personnel.


The 90th CES chose to renovate Building 210 as a Prime Base Expeditionary Engineer Force project, reducing the time, money and manpower required to conduct the necessary construction.  


The civil engineers’ deployed mission frequently includes improving living conditions during civil affair missions in foreign countries. In addition to benefiting the base, CES Airmen will also gain valuable construction experience they will be able to leverage downrange.


“We are using Airmen instead of contractors for the training to prepare them to deploy,” said Master Sgt. Matthew Kimball, 90th CES utilities shop NCO in charge. “There is a little contractor work, but most of the work will be performed by our civil engineer Airmen.”


The project is estimated to take 6,000 man hours and is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017.


“By using our troops for the actual construction, we are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said 1st Lt. Travis Smith, 90th CES readiness and emergency management flight officer. “All we pay for is the material, and we use our capable Airmen instead of getting charged by contractors.”


The 90th MW constantly looks for innovative ways to better the lives of Airmen and their families. Renovating the historic headquarters building was just one of the many projects the 90th CES has recently taken on to improve the base.


Kimball’s team has worked on a number of facilities this year including the missile alert facilities, the Trails End Event Center and the base swimming pool. He said every year CES tackles a big project which incorporates all the different civil engineer skill sets to hone the Airmen’s capabilities.


“This renovation project is an incredible opportunity for our Airmen to learn, innovate and be a part of the history of F.E. Warren,” Smith said. “We are making every effort to ensure that we don’t change the characteristic of the building. I hope it stands another 100 years on base with the amount of work our team is putting into it.”