Quality of life to improve for 386th AEW Airmen

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SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFNS) —
In the upcoming months, the Airmen of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing will see some changes beginning that will affect their long-term quality of life in Southwest Asia.

The slated removal of the 114 war reserve material tents and generator power infrastructure will not only improve the quality of life for the wing’s Airmen, but will also save the Air Force money by replacing the temporary lodging facilities with more energy efficient, and sustainable semi-permanent facilities. The transition from the aging, inefficient and unreliable generator infrastructure to commercial power will mean more reliable power and less time and resources spent maintaining them.

“We are transitioning to more of an enduring location rather than an expeditionary one,” said Capt. Godfrey A. Manera, the space utilization officer in charge with the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron. “In the end it will help many rotations ahead.”

The transition of Airmen from tents to trailers is slated to begin with the removal of 13 tents in June and the start of electrical distribution work by Prime Base Engineer Emergency Force or BEEF.

Initially Airmen may have to live in closer quarters with one another during the transition period, but once the construction is complete Airmen will have more privacy and a better quality of life, Manera said.

Airmen and transient personnel have been lodged in the tents for about 15 years, traditionally with eight to 10 other occupants. In an effort to significantly reduce the disruption of Airmen rest cycles, the trailers are being designed to make the rooms double occupancy only. Current designs could even allow for two individuals per trailer to each have a single occupancy room.

The semi-permanent lodging facilities also increase the bed space available for personnel, gaining more than 150 beds when double bunked.

The design of the trailers makes for a more efficient use of space compared to the tents. The new 120-by-30 foot dwellings will allow Airmen to gain 63 percent more square footage of living quarter space while taking up less overall space at the same time, according to Manera.

Once both phases of construction are complete, the tents will be removed and replaced with more than 30 trailers.

“The planning for this project has been in the works for a long time,” said Maj. Michael E. Brown, the 386th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight commander. “It takes a base-wide effort that involves a lot of coordination between the civil engineer squadron, FSS, contracting and the first sergeants to facilitate the movement of personnel with minimal disturbance.”