CIRF's up! Can you dig it? 103rd Airlift Wing breaks ground on $8.3 million project

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead
  • 103 AW/Public affairs
Six golden shovels broke ground here during a ceremony March 6, 2010, commemorating the start of construction on an $8.3 million project for the 103rd Airlift Wing's Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility. 

"The facility today that we are going to celebrate really is a result of the BRAC [Base Realignment and Closure] process. And we can kind of pick and choose some of the good words and bad words we want to say about BRAC, but we did make out fairly well in the end of that," said Connecticut's governor, M. Jodi Rell.

The plan includes a 17,000 square foot expansion that will add more workspace and training areas for the repair and maintenance of the TF-34 engine, the last remaining part of the 103rd Fighter Wing's A-10 legacy.

"The truly good-news story here is this project is but the tip of the iceberg for a $42 million dollar overhaul that Bradley Air National Guard base is set to receive over the next three years," said Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the adjutant general for the state of Connecticut and the commander of the Connecticut National Guard.

When totaled with the Army side, the Conn. Guard looks to benefit from just under $300 million in military facilities, said Martin.

"The bottom line is this; with each project start, we move closer to fulfilling our responsibility of providing the Connecticut Air National Guard with the best possible training, equipment and facilities necessary to ensure mission accomplishment within our own state borders," Martin said.

As the first major construction project using primarily military construction money and money from the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure decision, the new CIRF will facilitate the repair of the engines for 78 Air National Guard A-10s, as well as some from active-duty units. The active-duty engines were added to the mission after Maj. Wayne Ferris, commander, 103rd Maintenance Squadron, arranged and discussed with active-duty counterparts in fall of 2009.

"The CIRF mission is to overhaul TF-34's at the intermediate maintenance level. CIRF personnel will induct an engine from a base with either a troubleshooting problem or an 'out of time' condition, where one or more time tracked components have run out of life.
The purpose of the operation is turning each engine serviceable with optimum performance and the longest life expectancy possible," said Staff Sgt. Steven Sevigny, aerospace propulsion work leader with the 103rd Maintenance Squadron.

Even though the details of a mission may change from time to time, said the Governor, the commitment to the members of the Guard never does.

"Our commitment to the National Guard is strong, it's thriving and it's growing; and we're showing that today with this groundbreaking," said Rell.